By Beth David, Editor
The Fairhaven Pickleball Association and town officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the four new pickleball courts at Livesey Park in Fairhaven on Saturday, 11/4/23.
FPA president Ken Pottel thanked the committee and members who went to meetings to get the funding, which used $180,000 in Community Preservation Act funds plus private funds raised by the association.
“It was quite a lot of work,” said Mr. Pottel and credited Al Valle with being “very key” to the success of the project.
Mr. Pottel also thanked his wife, Joyce, who most definitely got the biggest round of applause.
“It was quite the labor of love,” said Mr. Pottel, adding that it takes people advocating to get things done. “We know how many people will benefit.”
He also thanked the Select Board and Board of Public Works, who voted to support the project, which had to be approved at Town Meeting.
Daniel Lopes, a BPW member, said things like the pickleball courts creat a sense of community, and we need more, and he said he hopes for more.
Select Board member Stasia Powers, who is also a member of the association, credited Mr. Pottel with getting the job done, calling him a “force to be reckoned with when he has his mind set.”
She said the town’s master plan calls for the town to create more recreational opportunities in North Fairhaven.
“Nothing meets that more than this project,” said Ms. Powers, adding it is the “perfect spot” for it and will bring people to North Fairhaven to the businesses.
“This is a meeting place,” said Mr. Valle. “Look around, look at potential friends, potential neighbors.”
He said it strengthens families and strengthens the community.
“Pass it on,” said Mr. Valle, calling the FPA members “ambassadors of pickleball.”
“Bring in family, bring in friends,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Adina Warters told the crowd to invite friends and family to play.
“We are very welcoming,” she said.
The four new, dedicated courts were a big hit with the players, who were all trying them out for the first time.
“It’s a happy occasion,” said Helena Almeida, adding that players need more courts, especially free ones. “You can’t have too many courts.”
Maria Nogueira said being a member of the association makes it easy to sign up and see who is playing and when. She said membership is “more a social thing.” And members do things outside of Pickleball.
Ms. Nogueira said the new courts are very nice because they have fencing between the courts, which helps to keep the ball from rolling to another court disrupting play for others.
They both said that although it is nice to have the free courts at Cushman Park, those are shared with tennis players and the lines are confusing.
Lauren Sharp is on the social committee and said they organize a events for members to get together just to socialize. She said it makes it very easy to make new friends.
“It’s been awesome,” said Ms. Sharp.
Dan DeTerra, a pickleball instructor, said the sport welcomes everyone no matter the level of play. And it creates great friendships.
He said the association is a well run organization and they do an “awesome job” creating playing times and organizing social events.
“They go above and beyond for sure,” said Mr. Deterra.
Select Board member Bob Espindola also joined the event, but declined the offer to speak.
Click here to download the 11/9/23 issue: 11-09-23 PickleballLivesey
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