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Camas Pickleball Association introduced at CHS

Sweet 16 Pickleball Tournament winners posing with their paddles, Photo Courtesy @camaspickleballassociation Official Instagram

New to Camas High School (CHS) this year is the Pickleball Club, becoming officially part of the growing number of after-school activities offered at CHS. Students at any age or level of experience are welcome to join the club each early-release Wednesday, where there are open courts for free-play games. These games are normally one-on-one or two-on-two, but occasionally, the Pickleball Club will hold tournament-style competitions, adding a layer of competition. 

Pickleball originated on Bainbridge Island, Wash., with the first designated game played in 1965. The sport has the same rules as a game of badminton, but unlike badminton, pickleball’s style of play is more similar to tennis. Players use wooden paddles, as opposed to rackets to hit the small plastic pickleball over a net roughly 35 inches high. Growing in popularity, the sport has become more well-known throughout school districts across the country, with many elementary and middle schools implementing a pickleball unit in their physical education curriculum.  

The official club at CHS, formed by two sophomores, Inka Byman and Orrin Brown, came to be after the friends returned from a match of pickleball down at the park and decided it would be fun to start a pickleball club at the high school. 

“We had so much fun there, we just enjoyed it so much that we thought we should share this love and this great sport with the rest of our school, and we wanted to create an environment where people can be active and have fun,” Byman said. 

Meetings remain solely on early-release Wednesdays, meaning at most, there are only two meetings per month. 

“We have our officer meetings which happen on non-half-day Wednesdays usually, and then we meet and we discuss future plans, but on half-days, we just play some pickleball,” Brown said. 

The two founders hope to continue growing the Pickleball Association at CHS and aim to pass the torch to dedicated underclassmen when they graduate.

Pickleballers participate in a tournament

“It would be great if it could become an intramural-type sport, or at some point becoming more than just an early-release Wednesday, as to where we can hold more tournaments, indoor-outdoor [events], just because we have so many kids coming. I would envision that it grows to a little bit more of a structured play-time,” club advisor Kristine Straw said. 

So far, the club has shown a very positive outreach, with many students headed to after-school meetings on half-days. In a fun and easy-paced environment, this club offers a wonderful opportunity for all students.

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Elisabeth Williams, Staff Writer

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