News from The Kings of Wessex Academy

George is Pickleball Silver Champion

8th May, 2018 by Jude Owens

On Easter Saturday, other people might have been eating Easter eggs, but Year 10 student George Webb was competing in the inaugural UK Youth Pickleball championships in Milton Keynes.

This intriguing-sounding sport is relatively new to the UK and combines three sports: played in a badminton court with a tennis net and an enlarged paddle and a plastic ball with holes in it, all elements combined it is rather difficult to hit.

George was representing Cheddar Pickleball Club based at Kings Fitness and Leisure after he found out about the sport from his mum’s friend who organises cricket and arranged for George to try it out.

George performed especially well as he was competing in the U18 age group in which he achieved a silver medal, when he is only 14 years old and has only been playing for about 12 months.

But George has some tips for anyone interested in trying Pickleball. Drop shots are very effective, as is playing at the net (like a “smash” that badminton players will know). Also, it is important not to force a point, but wait for the opponent to make a mistake. Cunning!

George gets some other practice in by playing badminton and table tennis with his Dad.

Pickleball might not be big enough yet for the Olympics, but it is gaining in popularity and in the last year clubs across the country have multiplied.

Executive Headteacher Gavin Ball said:

“Well done to George for his Silver medal at the first ever Youth Pickleball championships. This is a real achievement in what is clearly a sport demanding skill and dexterity. I am very proud of George and wish him every continued success!”