‘Pickleball inaugural event a success’

Posted on Jul 05 2022

Members of the Pickleball Federation of the Northern Mariana Islands pose for a photo with the five Guam pickleball players after their friendly matches last Saturday in their newly striped court at the American Memorial Park. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

The on and off downpour of rain during the weekend did not put a damper on the Pickleball Federation of the Northern Mariana Islands inaugural event last Saturday in the newly striped court at the American Memorial Park.

Not only were CNMI pickleball players treated to a day of fun, barbecue, and friendly matches, there were five pickleball players from Guam who participated—Derick Alcorn, Tomi Castillo, William Josler, Ronni Connelly, and Albert Kronix—along with CNMI national tennis players Colin Sinclair, Robbie Schorr, and Colin Ramsay.

PFNMI president Dr. Nelson Krum said about the event that he “was impressed with the number of players and spectators that attended!”

About 30 to 40 players participated during both the morning and evening games.

The event held a round-robin format where Crazy 8’s and King’s Ransom were played in the morning and at night.

Nicky Nichols, who is a member of the PFNMI board and is a pickleball player, was seen at the event and was interviewed about the sport. He said the sport is beneficial for older people or people who have injuries or are prone to injuries.

However, he said the sport of pickleball is for people of any age. ​​Currently in their federation, there are players as young as 11 and as old as 74, but there are mostly 30- to 40-year-old players.

Nichols added, “What’s nice about pickleball is that you can learn to play within one day easily. Within three games, you’re playing at a level already where you’re going to have fun playing. So, it’s not a difficult game to learn. You don’t chase the ball so much.”

For Nichols personally, he’s taken up pickleball after being a tennis player for many years because it’s “fun.”

“It’s just a real social sport. We get four people on one court and look how close you are. You’re talking while you play, laughing and making fun of each other. You have banter, you have people talking while you’re playing. So, it’s a very social sport.”

One player, Dave Guerrero, was seen having a friendly game with Shelly Tran, a new dentist from Paradise Dental who is a new pickleball player. They both said that it’s a great sport to play. “It’s a good, healthy, and fun sport. The age range brings everyone together… It’s awesome. It’s a fairly easy, fun sport to learn, it’s addicting.”

The PFNMI encourages community members to try out the sport when they are out at the courts playing either during the day or at night. They provide the equipment such as the paddles, balls, and nets.
“I think people can get really serious with the game, or just use our equipment and just come out and have fun. We have a lot of doctors from the ER playing with us and a lot of nurses.”

If you have any questions about the PFNMI, call or text Dr. Nelson Krum at 670-789-8201, or email @ nelsonkrum@msn.com. Let him know if you would like to be added to the Pickleball CNMI Group Chat on Whatsapp.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at leigh_gases@saipantribune.com.
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