On Thursday, March 23, the courts of the Tennis and Pickleball Club in Newport Beach, California, swung into action for a good cause as Project Access Resource Centers staged its first-ever charity fundraising pickleball tournament (presented by Freespeed Aviation, LLC). The afternoon of fun and sport raised $37,000 to support low-income families throughout California and the country by showcasing the fastest-growing sport in the U.S.

We are so thankful to Rob Martin (President of FreeSpeed Aviation) for sponsoring the inaugural tournament. The afternoon included two solid hours of play, a beginner’s clinic with the club’s resident pickleball pro (Mason Wei), a swag bag, prizes, refreshments, an opportunity drawing, and a “totally rad” 1980s costume contest! 

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The $37,000 raised through this pickleball tournament will help ensure that the most vulnerable families within our Project Access communities have a home and support system that helps secure a promising future. We can’t wait to raise our pickleball paddles next year for such a worthy cause.

Although Project Access is one of the country’s most successful providers of resident services, such as vital on-site health, education, and employment services for families, children, and seniors living in affordable housing, the $37,000 raised through this pickleball tournament is very much appreciated. These funds will help provide vulnerable families within our Project Access communities in 16 states nationwide have a support system that helps secure a promising future.

As a closing aside (to put context around our pickleball tournament success), according to a recent CNBC article:

Pickleball now boasts the support of LeBron James, Tom Brady, and more than 36 million other Americans. The rapidly growing sport is easy to learn and inexpensive. More than 36.5 million people played pickleball from August 2021 to August 2022, according to a new report by the Association of Pickleball Professionals released exclusively to CNBC. Earlier data pinned the participation rate of the sport at 5 million players in 2021. The latest numbers unveiled in the 2023 APP Pickleball Participation report, via a study conducted by YouGov, shows that 14% of Americans played pickleball at least once in that 12-month period. And over 8.5 million people played pickleball eight times or more.