The City of Martinsville, County of Henry each received a $25,000 PUP grant to develop new outdoor pickleball courts
Martinsville, Va. — Local pickleball players will have more options to enjoy the sport in Martinsville-Henry County with support from The Harvest Foundation’s PUP Small Grants Program.
During today’s Pickleball Free-For-All event at the Henry County Recreation Center in Collinsville, representatives from The City of Martinsville and the County of Henry each received a $25,000 PUP grant to repair and restructure outdoor tennis courts to accommodate the pickleball sport.
“These two grants will enhance recreational offerings in our community, provide avenues for physical activity, and community engagement, in addition to representing an investment in the overall well-being of our community,” said Dr. Sandy Strayer, program officer at The Harvest Foundation. “This program exemplifies what can be achieved when we work together for a common goal. I look forward to seeing you all on the courts.”
In Martinsville, the two lower tennis courts at Martinsville High School (351 Commonwealth Blvd E, Martinsville) and the Spruce Street tennis courts (1850 Spruce St, Martinsville) will undergo repairs for cracks, recoating, and re-stripping for tennis and pickleball.
“With pickleball rapidly gaining popularity, we’re thrilled to provide our residents with courts where they can enjoy the game and lead an active lifestyle,” said Martinsville Mayor L.C. Jones.
Former City Manager Leon Towarnicki recognized that pickleball has been an issue for residents for a while, according to Glen Adams, interim city manager for Martinsville.
“He (Towarnicki) knew funding was short, so as a last good deed, he applied for a grant on the way out the door,” Adams said. “This grant is another example of the Harvest Foundation’s support in our efforts to improve Martinsville, making it an even better place for both work and play.”
In Henry County, four tennis courts at Jaycee Park (475 Parkwood Ct, Collinsville) will receive repairs for cracks, new paint lines, and equipment for pickleball.
“We are ecstatic to have a dedicated pickleball court in Henry County,” said Roger Adams, Director of Henry County Parks & Recreation. “The growth of this sport is tremendous and we’ve seen the demand for an outdoor venue continue to increase. It will make for a fantastic addition to Jaycee Park.”
Jim Adams, chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors, added, “Our partnership with the Harvest Foundation continues to pay dividends for our residents. Recreational amenities continue to be a vital part of our broader economic development initiative as we invest in these types of place-making efforts which make our community more appealing for families.”
Pickleball is a racket or paddle sport played both indoors and outdoors by single or double teams. Joel Pritchard, a former congressman and lieutenant governor of Washington state, with a couple of his friends, created the game and rules, according to The Seattle Times. Named the official sport of Washington in 2021, pickleball is enjoyed internationally, both by casual and professional players.