OZARK, Ala. (WDHN)—Ozark city officials formally “opened” a large venue that’s expected to draw pickleball enthusiasts from across the wiregrass and the Florida Panhandle.

The city will become home to America’s fastest-growing sport in South Alabama.

Pickleball is a cross of tennis, ping-pong and is played with a plastic whiffle ball.
At an old shopping center across from the Ozark Municipal Complex, the city converted an old Walmart building into a pickleball and sports complex. It’s complete with eight courts. Mayor Mark Blankenship says it’s part of his campaign platform of “Growing Ozark Together”.

Mayor Blankenship says “The pickleball crowd, the city employees worked together. We have done all of the work in the building with our city employees and a big community effort with this project.”
The facility is one of the largest indoor, pickleball facilities in South Alabama. One can buy a monthly membership, and it has 24-hour access.

In that way, members will be able to play games at any time of the day or night.

Ozzie Maianeto of Ozark Leisure Services says “Pickleball is a great form of exercise, it keeps you moving and raises your heart rate, has a low impact on your joints it’s a fun exercise, community-based makes new friends, makes new relationships.”

Mike Gurspan says “one pickleball instructor, she says it’s a great sport for older folks, and also for socialization.”

Pickleball Coach Elizabeth Wyse “There are no limits, you can be as good as you want to be. What we teach our beginners is to play your game. If you don’t want to play a hard game and want to do social there’s room for that.”

And for those looking to get information on membership, or take a class on how to play. Any questions concerning the pickleball facility you can contact them at 334-443-1055 during weekday business hours.