HARWICH ─ The morning of her first-ever pickleball tournament, Jan Belleville was nervous. After all, it was the first time she'd taken her game to the competitive level. In the end, Belleville had nothing to worry about, ultimately playing toward a medal win in the area's first Women's Intermediate Pickleball Tourney.
The event was held June 21 at Brooks Park and featured a host of local athletes competing in a chutes and ladders format that saw Kymberly Wilkinson earn first place in Group A and Sharon Malmquist take the top spot in Group B. Belleville was part of a three-way tie for second in Group B along with Debbi Gaber and Diane Treiber, while rounding out Group A was Anne Briggs in second for a silver medal and Anne Habel in third for bronze.
The tournament was organized by local players with the help of pickleball coordinator Frank Crowley. Chris Walkley helped keep score during the event and was also instrumental in its organization.
“We are trying to keep it fun, like a game, in the idea of chutes and ladders,” Walkley said. “What is nice is that all these women play together all year but not in a tournament. Everyone has the chance to climb the ladder to the top. I think it's great.”
When match play ended, players were treated to lunch courtesy of The Mason Jar, after which came the official medal presentations. It is hoped that the new tournament will become an annual event, joining the area's September mixed doubles Pickleball Funfest.