March 16, 2023
Unifying Pickleball Internationally
By Javier Regalado
The tremendous growth of pickleball is certainly great news to all of us. Any activity that promotes goodness and wellness throughout global communities deserves great support and resources.
But with the growth comes responsibility and a need of rules and order. If we really want to make pickleball a global sport, we need to have a well-organized and productive global organization. We need a governance that will define and set the same rules for all organized pickleball courts, players and tournaments no matter where you play.
We want to make sure this organization represents the actual players and countries, and not just certain individuals or interests. Representatives from Australia and Canada began back in November 2021 to promote a unification movement toward this end.
Mexico supported this initiative, and joined the team that included the U.S., European and Asian federations. It has taken almost a year and many hours to put together the foundations.
Now, all representatives will have a voice. With these foundations, members will define the direction and will build pickleball into a global community with opportunity for all.
Having a well-run democratic organization will also help us generate the resources required to promote pickleball in every corner of the globe. There are many cases out there of global sports federations we can learn from that create specific programs: youth programs, grant programs, instructional programs, certification programs.
These programs will have great content and credibility when they are designed, implemented and sanctioned by a global pickleball governance.
One of the many important goals of this organization is to turn pickleball into an Olympic sport. Putting together a unified organization is certainly a very important and crucial step to achieve this milestone. Why do we want to make pickleball an Olympic sport? I love the idea of young players with a dream of making the Olympics and transforming their lives into a purpose. That to me is a purpose itself.
When lives are transformed for the better, communities increase their level of well-being. They become areas of opportunity and safe gathering. •
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