First USA Pickleball sanctioned tournament in the Rogue Valley

ASHLAND, Ore. – The Rogue Valley had its first US-sanctioned pickleball tournament on May 22nd. People from all over Oregon and northern California gathered at Lithia Park to compete head to head with other fans of the sport.

Organizer John Gill says he is trying to get the sport into the 2028 Olympics. This tournament is one of many Gill has hosted here in the US.

“It’s such a fun sport everybody, you do not have to be coordinated or anything it’s such an easy sport to learn. And it’s so much fun, you hear laughing, which you don’t hear in tennis much, I say to my tennis mates come on guys have a laugh, we laugh so much in pickleball even in competitive situations,” said John Gill, Head of the World Pickleball Association.

Gill says a portion of the entry fees from the tournament go toward feeding the homeless. He says along with pickleball becoming an Olympic sport, he wants the sport to be known as a sport that helps the vulnerable and the homeless.

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