From Concept To Court: The Rise Of FGCU's First Pickleball Club

From Concept to Court: The Rise of FGCU’s First Pickleball Club

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Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) just launched its very own pickleball club, and it’s already causing a racket on campus! This club isn’t just a spontaneous serve; it’s been brewing for over a year, much like a perfect game strategy.

Pickleball, for those who haven’t yet caught the fever, is like tennis but with a twist. It uses unique rackets and balls, keeping the adrenaline pumping with familiar yet fresh rules. The club’s captain, Tyler Calka, is the mastermind behind this initiative, aiming to lob FGCU into the pickleball limelight.

From Concept To Court The Rise Of Fgcus First Pickleball Club

“Pickleball’s charm lies in its ease and the strategy of playing ‘the kitchen’ – a zone you can’t step in unless the ball bounces there,” explains Calka. He admits that mastering the serve was his initial hurdle, but now he’s acing it like a pro!

For beginners, Calka’s pro-tip is to focus on that first serve and spend quality time on the court. You’ve got to get a feel for those swings and the racket. It’s all about practice, practice, practice!

The club’s got its game plan set: practices on Saturdays and Mondays from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the RWC gym near the basketball courts. They’re gearing up to play competitively in the 2024-2025 school year, and the enthusiasm is as high as a well-lobbed ball!

Kennedy Macklin, the vice president of the club, is all about the community vibes. “It’s a mix of skills and friendliness here. We’re all leveling up together!” she says. Her pickleball journey began as a family affair, inspired by her mom’s community courts.

Macklin’s advice for the curious? “Give it a try, and who knows? You might just find your new passion and a bunch of new friends!”

The club’s numbers are already impressive, with 50 members on Eagle link and 70 on Microsoft link, and they’re only looking to grow. “We want to make a mark in Florida,” says Calka. “Pickleball is for everyone, young or old, and we’re here to prove it.”

The sense of camaraderie is palpable among the members. They’ve found a unique bond in this sport, something beyond just hitting a ball across a net. It’s about connections, learning, and growing together.

Their first open gym practice matches kicked off on Oct. 21, and they’re just warming up! Want to join the fun? Check out their Eagle Link or join their Microsoft Teams for all the latest updates.


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2 thoughts on “From Concept to Court: The Rise of FGCU’s First Pickleball Club”

  1. FYI….Kai Kemp and Ronald Wong – FGCUs top men’s doubles pickleball players are participating in the open division of the DUPR college nationals next weekend in Atlanta.

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