The Sun City Pickleball Club has seen a tremendous growth, starting with 700 members and growing to 988 members during 2022.
Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country from 2019 to 2021, according to an industry group that tracks sports participation.
One of the newest groups of the Sun City Pickleball Club is the 80Plus crowd. Jon Flach, the organizer of this group, is making a statement about staying young and active in the community. The Sun City Pickleball Club offers free lessons to beginners. This sport is good exercise and great opportunity to meet new people regardless of age.
Flach realized the need for having a group for residents over 80 years of age to get together and play when he attended a National Super Senior Tournament held in Surprise. He noted that playing singles at his age is tough, so he made it his mission to find other players 80-plus years of age for doubles and mixed doubles games.
Flach reached out to Sun City Pickleball Club president Dan Haberman for help finding other members of the club. A person who is 80 does not have to pay the yearly dues in the Pickleball Club, so Flach got a list of people who did not have to pay dues. If a person is going to reach their 80th birthday in the year 2022 or 2023 they are eligible to become a member of the 80Plus group.
Currently, the 80Plus group has 32 players, which consist of eight ladies, 17 men in their 80s, three men in their 90s and four married couples. The group has a full range of skill levels from newbies to 3.5 players. According to Flach, half of the members are snow birds. When they return, the group will have activities that include ladders, round robin and tournaments in addition to some social activities.
Play at the Marinette Center, 9860 W. Union Hills Drive, or Mountain View Center, 9749 N. 107th Ave.