Thibodaux Regional Health System Welcomes Dr. Trevor Johnson, Pain Management Specialist, to the Medical StaffDecember 14, 2023
Chevron Funds Grants for “Holidays on the Bayou”December 15, 2023
The Bayou Black Community Center was the site of the 1st Annual Christmas Picklefest Tournament earlier today, Thursday, December 14, 2023! A group of over 30 local pickleballers came out to compete for the prize and enjoy a day of sports, community, and delicious food.
“About two years ago, we asked if we could possibly build some courts inside the Bayou Black Gym if people in the community seemed interested in starting a pickleball league,” explained Melinda Poiencot, one of the organizers and players. “There was a ton of local interest, so we hosted a pickleball clinic to help learn the rules and experience the game– and now here we are, with 85 people in our group enjoying the sport!”
Pickleball first came to the area a little over 4 years ago, right before COVID-19 hit and shut down most group activities– but the sport didn’t go away for long. “I started playing and learning pickleball about two years ago, after we were out of quarantine, and heard that Melinda was working to find a large court where we could gather a lot of people to play,” said Mark Geist. “We now have people ranging all ages who come out several days a week and love it. We never have a morning where there are less than 8 people coming out to play. It’s a friendly game, it’s full of camaraderie– it’s a wonderful way to make friends in the community. ”
Members of the pickleball league come out and play together typically every weekday morning beginning at 8:00 a.m. The 1st Annual Christmas Tournament was organized by active members being placed into teams depending on skills, and then different teams rotating to compete against each other for a prize. “The prize for winning the tournament is fairly small, so it doesn’t get overly competitive– mostly it’s social,” explained Geist. “Our bigger prizes we include in a raffle-style, so everyone who attends is included. That inclusion and community is what our pickleball group is about.”
The winners of todays tournament are as follows:
- Overall Team Winner: Team #3, “Sweet Pickles:” Team Captain – Bonnie Pellegrin. Team members- Ellen Blanchard, Mark Rhodes, David Lemieux, Kathy Mella, and Stephanie Pizzolatto
- Overall Individual Winner Women’s: Hilal Celebri
- Overall Individual Winner Men’s: David Norman
If you are interested in joining this group to play pickleball, come out to the Bayou Black Community Center on weekdays at 8:00 a.m. to join in the athletic and social fun!