Tomahawk community comes together to build new pickleball courts at Kahle Park
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
TOMAHAWK – Local pickleball enthusiasts and the Tomahawk community recently came together to build new pickleball courts at Kahle Park, located on Highway 107 just off of County Road S, southeast of Tomahawk.
Pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong, and is played with a plastic paddle and a ball with holes. It can be played both indoors and outdoors on a badminton-sized court with a slightly modified tennis net, and can be played as singles or doubles.
Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country, with more than 4.3 million players, and is played by people of all ages and skill levels.
Terri Graham, co-founder of U.S. Open Pickleball, explained that Fred and Shelly Bloedorn, along with local pickleball ambassador Paul Garner, approached the Town of Bradley board with a proposal to resurface the tennis courts at the park.
“Town chairperson Kevin Koth and board member John Crass supported the project, and off they went,” Graham said.
More than $15,000 was raised by local pickleball players. The funds were used to resurface the courts, as well as to add new nets, picnic tables and fencing.
“The outdoor courts will not only allow the players to get outside in the summer, but will also attract tourism to the area,” Graham stated. “Players love to vacation with their friends in areas that offer pickleball.”
The Tomahawk Area Pickleball Club’s roughly 100 members play regularly throughout the year.
“All are welcome, and lessons are available for new people wanting to learn,” the club’s Facebook group page states.
Games are played during the summer months at SARA Park on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Beginners play at 6 p.m. on Mondays, when lessons are also offered. The club also plays on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., mostly for women play; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
During the fall and winter months, Tomahawk Middle School hosts the club’s games, which are played on Mondays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Entry is at Door 2 of the school building.
There is a $2 drop-in fee, or an annual fee of $70.
To view the club’s Facebook group page, visit www.bit.ly/3nUUD7Z.