As NBC News reports, “If you haven’t heard of pickleball, you soon will. It’s the fastest growing sport in America.” Why? Because it’s easy to learn, great exercise, highly social, and incredibly fun. It’s especially popular with active people over forty since it’s easy on the joints. Many people expect pickleball to be the premier participation sport of the future.
Pickleball is a combination of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton. It’s often called “Ping pong on steroids.” The game was created near Seattle when kids going out to play badminton couldn’t find the birdies. However, they did find the net, a wiffle ball, and some ping pong paddles. They lowered the badminton net and a new game was born. Little did they know their creation would grow so rapidly that it will likely find its way into the Olympics. In one 45-minute session, you’ll learn the basics of the game, get exercise, and—most importantly—have fun!
Roger BelAir plays pickleball nearly every day and conducts clinics nationally at world-class resorts…to maximum security prisons. Inspired by a CBS’s “60 Minutes” segment on crime, he offered to introduce pickleball to Chicago’s Cook County Jail as a means of teaching “life skills” to maximum security inmates. “98% of all inmates are eventually released. If we can make them better while they are on the inside, it’s safer for all of us once they are back on the outside,” he says.
His highly successful program in Chicago has led Roger to teach at prisons from coast-to-coast, from Rikers Island in New York to Walla Walla in Washington. His life-changing efforts have been applauded in magazines and newspapers, including a front-page story in USA TODAY.
Off the court, Roger is a financial expert who has been profiled in a cover story of Money magazine; an acclaimed author of books on finance and investments; and a keynoter at business conventions around the country. He’s been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.
He knows finance, but pickleball is his passion.