NewsHillsborough County


Hillsborough County starts free pickleball lessons for disabled veterans

Posted at 6:44 PM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-17 18:44:17-05

TAMPA, Fla. — A sport that has exploded in popularity is now helping disabled veterans heal.

Hillsborough County is teaming up with Wounded Warriors to teach veterans pickleball.

The sport combines elements of tennis, ping pong and badminton. It's low-impact and can easily be picked up by veterans who have disabilities.

Sandra Bermudez is a disabled veteran who has served in the US Army for 34 years and said pickleball has helped her be active and exercise even with her physical limitations.

"It's a way to socialize and interact with other veterans," said Bermudez.

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the nation. Hillsborough County parks department has 14 dedicated courts and plans to add 46 more.

"It's great because it's so adaptable. Tennis is played on a really big court and it's really exhausting to play. Pickleball is great because it's for anyone. It can be for any age group. Any athlete whether ambulatory or in a wheelchair," said Mary Cales, Hillsborough County Adaptive Sports supervisor.

The group meets at 11 a.m. on Thursday mornings at Lesley “Les’’ Miller, Jr. All People’s Community Park and Life Center, 6105 E. Sligh Ave., Tampa, FL 33617.

It's free for any veterans who want to learn how to play pickleball.

For more information, click here.