Pickleball ambassador Christie Borne wins Pioneer Award
Hot Springs Village resident Christie Borne. (Suzanne Sweeten photo)
By SUZANNE SWEETEN
Staff Writer – Village Voice – 6/7/2016
Hot Springs Village resident Christie Borne just became a big deal in the sport of pickleball.
Borne recently received the regional Pioneer Award from the United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA).
The acknowledgement honors Borne’s seven years of involvement in teaching, promoting, and developing the game of pickleball.
Borne traveled to the University of Louisiana in Monroe, La., to accept the award and participate in a regional pickleball tournament running in conjunction with the ceremony.
Borne described her appreciation of the honor, “It was pretty exciting, because I have been working with pickleball and growing the game for a very long time.
“Actually, one of the things I did in my acceptance speech was to say that it was really the first big award that I had received since grade school, other than just a participation certificate award, ‘You’re a good participator,’ to a blue- ribbon award in a diving competition – I got the blue ribbon for doing the best jackknife.”
A twinkle appears in Borne’s eyes. “It touched me – it really did – but I’m not the only one etched on the back of that crystal. It includes all the people who have actually helped me along the way, to be able to input all their gifts and unique talents. It’s not just me.”
Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing interests in the Village. The Monroe tournament involved 225 regional players, with local pickleball competitors bringing home 12 medals.
Borne continues to introduce and teach new members, and is working with Stephanie Heffer on an event scheduled for 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 2 at the courts off DeSoto.
The function, called “Pickleball Sparklers,” offers children of all ages a fun-filled evening learning how to play pickleball. The night’s festivity will be topped off by snacks of pickles and ice cream.
Pickleball is a hybrid sport – part badminton and tennis, using oversized ping-pong type paddles and striking a whiffle ball.
Developed in 1965 in the back yard of Joel and Joan Prichard, today the USAPA boasts 40,000 members. It’s believed the name “pickleball” originated from the fact the Prichard’s dog Pickles would chase the ball and run off with it in his mouth; and as a matter of ownership, it became Pickles’ ball.