First State Pickleball, Sea Colony Tennis team up for exhibition/clinic


Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Vaughn Baker of the First State Pickle Club serves up a shot during a lesson at Fairway Village earlier this spring.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Vaughn Baker of the First State Pickle Club serves up a shot during a lesson at Fairway Village earlier this spring.One of the nation’s top-ranked tennis facilities will soon get introduced to one of its fastest growing sports, when the tennis center at Sea Colony and the First State Pickleball Club team up for a Pickleball Exhibition & Beginner’s Clinic on Saturday, July 16, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Those interested in learning pickleball will have the chance to receive instruction from some of the area’s top players at the free event, with pickle paddles and balls provided.

Instructors from the Ocean Pines (Md.) Pickleball Club will also be in attendance to help show newcomers the ropes.

“The entire pickleball community is always excited to have the opportunity to showcase pickleball, and we spend a lot of time teaching the basics to the general population. To showcase pickleball at the Sea Colony Tennis Center — consistently one of the top tennis resorts in America — is an honor,” said Vaughn Baker of the FSPC, who spent his career in tennis.

“Any sport that helps folks improve their health and wellbeing is well worth promoting” said Sea Colony Tennis Director Thomas Johnston.

Like Johnston, Baker noted that improving the health of area residents was the focus of the event.

Played on a smaller court and typically with a doubles partner, while the game holds many similarities to tennis, it adds extra appeal for those who aren’t able to get around as quickly, with less sudden movement required and a smaller area to cover.

Recently, physical therapist and Coastal Point columnist Bob Cairo met with Johnston and members of the FSPC for a clinic about how to prevent injuries in both sports.

“We all want the entire community to become more active. There are those who view a rivalry between tennis and pickleball — I don’t see it that way,” Baker said. “The enemy is obesity, heart disease and poor core conditioning.

“If [they] play tennis or pickleball, that is wonderful. If they walk, bike, run or surf, that is also wonderful. We just want to do everything we can do to get [people] off the couch and in a fun environment with others of the same mind. When you reach my age, you value laughter and friendship far more than gold medals and championships.”

The event will get under way on Saturday, July 16, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Sea Colony Tennis Center, located at 39359 Racquet Lane in Sea Colony, near Bethany Beach. The rain date for the event is Saturday, July 23.

For more information, contact Vaughn Baker at pickleball7to7@gmail.com.