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HSC opens pickleball courts, receives surprise funding

Residents and local officials dedicate Johnson County’s first Pickleball court. HSC along with town and county leaders worked to repair and repurposed the Community Center’s dilapidated tennis courts for Pickleball. Photo by Meg Dickens.

By Meg Dickens
Freelance Writer

On Friday, November 5, members of the Hometown Service Coalition (HSC) board invited the community to the official ribbon cutting for the community’s newest recreation opportunity, the long-awaited pickleball field. What was previously a tennis court shut down approximately two years ago because of its poor conditions is now something new that will bring new opportunities to the community.
Renovations began in July 2021 and finished in the first week of November. HSC originally planned to have the courts open before schools went back into session but hit a snag related to the net poles. As those familiar with the sport know, pickleball uses shorter nets than traditional tennis, paddles, and wiffle balls, and the leftover poles were far too large to be used.
This facility will be available for all, but organizers suspect that the two neighboring entities will make the most use of it; the Johnson County/Mountain City Community Center and the Johnson County Senior Center. Children from the community center were already at play before the ribbon-cutting began.
The senior center already has plans to add a shuffleboard court when the weather warms up and is excited about the possibilities the new pickleball court will unlock. According to Director Kathy Motsinger, at least two center members plan to use the court to train for the Senior Olympics. The lack of a court reportedly has stopped local seniors from competing in this category because of difficulties practicing.
The renovations were
made possible by grants from the Johnson County Community Foundation and Operation Pocket Change.
HSC is also using some of
this funding to work on the neighboring park by replacing the 1980s playground equipment and moving it out of potentially dangerous areas under the historic tree. This will call for some reorganizing to place all of the equipment out from under the tree’s canopy.
HSC members were unaware during the ribbon cutting ceremony, but a local organization had a surprise in store. A representative from Farmers State Bank approached HSC President John Cunningham with a check for $5,000 to help the organization moving forward. Keep an eye on upcoming projects and events from HSC through the website or Facebook @hometownservicecoalition.