HealthQuest Stories

Patient Stories

View All

Subscribe to Our e-Newsletter

View All

Successful employee wellness event: Pickleball gains new followers

Thanks to the Skagit Wellness Advisory Team (SWAT), employee wellness team at Skagit Regional Health, nearly 80 SRH staff members and providers joined in an orientation and had a chance to play pickleball at the Skagit Valley College Pickleball Pavilion on Sunday, August 13. employees playing pickleballFor many, it was their first time to give the game a try. Participants received a pickleball paddle and ball, plus a branded SWAT shirt, snacks and bottled water (a key element on an 80-plus degree day!). Players represented a wide variety of departments from labor and delivery and coding to strategy and marketing.

Four experienced players and members of Skagit Valley Pickleball provided instructions on safety, rules, scoring and demonstrated serves, several stroke styles and volleys. Then, in groups of four, all were turned loose to try their hand at playing the game that is sweeping the nation in popularity. In that moment, this group officially became “picklers” – the term for those who play the game.Pickleball was invented in 1965 by neighbors on Bainbridge Island, including the late U.S. Rep. Joel Pritchard, who were trying to find activities for their children. They lowered a badminton net to the ground level on an existing asphalt court, developed some rules and created what has come to be a very social game. The game was introduced commercially in the early 1970s and by 1990 was being played in all 50 states. Participation in the game has exploded in recent years with an estimated 9 million people playing the game in 2023, up from 4.8 million in 2022. Some pickleball tournaments are televised and there will be a national championship tournament in November.

employees playing pickleballIn addition to Skagit Valley College, there are pickleball courts in many local communities including at Hillcrest Park in Mount Vernon, Clearidge Park in Anacortes, Heritage Park in Stanwood, Warm Beach and multiple locations in Arlington, Bellingham and Marysville.

With the success of this first pickleball event, SWAT is already working to set up another opportunity for employees this fall.