Chip and Donna discovered pickleball while vacationing in NY in July 2016. When they returned to Lake City in October 2016, they bought a net and played in their driveway. Since there was no pickleball in Lake City, they drove to Gainesville once a week to play. In Feb 2017 they thought "why not start pickleball in Lake City"? They sent a "Pickleball Anyone?" email to the residents in their community inviting them to play pickleball in their driveway. In two days, twelve people played pickleball, some twice, and all expressed an interest in playing some more. This is a picture of some of the early pioneers on one of the days.
They knew they had something and searched for a facility. The timing was perfect. Pickleball was growing in the US and Columbia County Recreation Department wanted to be a part of the revolution. They welcomed them with open arms buying nets, balls, and paddles and arranged for classes 3 days a week.
Plans are currently underway for 4 new outdoor courts behind Richardson Community Center during the summer 2018.
On their first anniversary close to 100 people have tried pickleball in Lake City. They expanded play to 7 times a week. They held a mini-tournament May 2017 and a three day tournament Jan 2018. They continue to grow with 28 new players since the tournament. 2/28/2018