Sixteen Arkansas pickleball players medaled at the six-state Mid-South Regional Championships consisting of Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma, held May 27-29 in Monroe LA. Players from Hot Springs Village, Hot Springs, Little Rock, Russellville and Rogers traveled home with four gold, 10 silver, and seven bronze medals in singles, women’s doubles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles.
A few locals, one from Hot Springs and two from Russellville took time out from their pickleball play to pose for a group photo. Winners, listed by city affiliation, are as follows:
Hot Springs Village; Christie Borne, Jane Riffel, Winnie Montgomery, and Jim McPherson
Hot Springs; Bobby Roling
Little Rock; John Goss, Alphonso Montgomery, Charles Pittman and Obray Nunnley
Russellville; Kristel Hines, Tim Clifford, Jerry Terrell, Roland LaChance and Dan Ellsworth
Rogers; Pat and John Lively
All of the winners are part of the advanced closed group that plays regularly at the Village Church of Christ, by invitation only. The advanced players represent Arkansas in major tournaments throughout the United States. Many athletes are attracted to Pickleball as an alternative sport because it can be played at a very high and intense level of competition, or it can be a leisurely social affair offering a fun way to exercise. Horse racing fans may remember John Lively as a very popular and successful jockey at Oaklawn and other horse racing parks in several states. Bobby Roling is a former Arkansas open tennis champion.
Hot Springs Village boasts of a large player base with many programs and informational services, courtesy of the local HSV Pickleball Club, including clinics and private lessons, and scheduled times of play designed to encourage everyone from beginner to the most accomplished tournament player.
For information regarding Pickleball, scheduled times of play, or how to get started in Pickleball, go to the local web site, hsvpickleball.org. To investigate pickleball throughout the United States and to see instructional videos and watch top players around the US, go to usapa.org.
Jim & Sandy McPherson