Playing Pickleball In Pennsauken

By Frank Sinatra, AAP Editor

Members of the Pennsauken community can take advantage of free lessons for a fun sport with an unusual name.

Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong; it can be played both indoors and outside; and it can be played whether you’re in eighth grade or your eighth decade. But don’t let the name fool you – no pickles are actually used in game play.

Pennsauken’s playing pickleball at the tennis courts on Browning Rd. and Chestnut St. Volunteers donated time and effort to power wash and paint the court specifically for the game.

“The game’s been around for 50 years; there are 450 local players in South Jersey that use Meetup to play,” says Denise Donald, district ambassador for the USA Pickleball Association. “People can’t get enough of the sport.”

The game has a growing following in Pennsauken; local devotees spent two days in the spring power washing and painting the tennis courts at Browning Rd. and Chestnut St. to make them pickleball-friendly. Estelle “Cookie” Sey, Pennsauken resident and pickleball ambassador for the Pennsauken and Camden area, teaches beginners the basics and connects them with other fans of the sport.

“Almost every time I meet out here, there’s one or two new people I’m teaching,” says Sey, who was a physical education teacher and tennis coach for the Camden School District for over 30 years. “It’s easy to pick up the skills. People that had tennis injuries have come back to find out that they can still play this type of sport.”

“People are in their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s and they’re learning a new sport. They’re outside in the sunshine, laughing and having a good time,” adds Donald.

Volunteers making the tennis courts at Browning and Chestnut “pickleball ready.”

Pennsauken’s pickleball courts can accommodate several groups playing at once. During the free lessons, equipment and encouraging instruction are provided.

“The volunteers did a great job with the courts and Cookie loves to teach,” says Donald. “She does it for free.”

“Denise taught me the rules and got me playing and I’ve been hooked ever since,” explains Sey. “I love pickleball. It keeps me busy.”

Free lessons at Pennsauken’s pickleball courts at Browning Rd. and Chestnut St. are held Thursdays at 4:00 p.m., Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. For more information, e-mail or call (856) 841-2749. You can also join the South Jersey Pickleball Meetup by visiting

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