Local pickleball player Linda Erickson has taken her game to the national level
Erickson has enjoyed seeing game grow so quickly in South Dakota
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -Pretty much everyone has heard about pickle ball, and many have started playing it here in Sioux Falls and all over the country.
What’s next for the sport is a true competitive scene. Our Karl’s TV & Appliance Athlete of the Week is someone local looking to grow that scene right here in South Dakota. Cooper Seamer has more.
Not only is pickleball the fastest growing sport in the United States according to the online resource for the sport Pickleheads, it’s competitive side is also growing quickly as well.
“Pickleball is well on its way to being one of the largest sports in the country by participation, which we couldn’t be more happy about,” Pickleheads Co-Founder Brandon Mackie said.
While South Dakota is catching up to the national buzz, there isn’t a shortage of those starting to play competitively.
Linda Erickson of Sioux Falls is one of those players, enjoying the sport as an exercise but wanting more out of it.
“I love to play recreationally. But I was an athlete growing up many years ago, so I still have that competitive spirit,” Erickson said.
Erickson has traveled across the country competing in regional and national tournaments. That includes a run in a mixed divisions group, getting on the national podium.
“My sister, Jill Allen from Grinell, Iowa, is my partner that I travel with and play in these tournaments. We’re kind of in the same age group. I have played with different mixed partners that were actually quite random. One year, we ended up getting the silver at nationals,” Erickson said.
As for the future of the competitive scene, Erickson said it’s bright.
“I actually see that pickleball will, in the future, be an olympic sport. I think it’s a little early right now, but that will happen. I do believe that the colleges will start offering some of that,” Erickson said.
For the future of the sport in the state, Erickson said the Sioux Falls Area Pickleball club has over 800 members with more joining each week. They’re working on bringing regional tournaments to the city in the near future.
“Not only for me to be able to play, but I would love it if the Sioux Falls people that are interested in playing and don’t like to travel or don’t have the time to travel would be able to be a part of that. We’re working on something like that, so hopefully that will happen in the near future,” Erickson said.
Giving the sport another spark in the city.
In Sioux Falls Cooper Seamer Dakota News Now.
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