Pickleball a big hit in Co Fermanagh as community tries fast-growing sport

It is the fastest growing sport in the world.

Pickleball is a cross between tennis, badminton, and ping pong - and it's become popular in Co Fermanagh.

Thanks to funding from Sport NI, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council introduced 'Come and Try it Pickleball' sessions earlier this year at its four leisure centres across the district.

David Lowe has picked up Pickleball.

"I'd seen it on Instagram and I see a lot of the old tennis players like john McEnroe playing it and then it turned up in Fermanagh all of a sudden," said David Lowe from Irvinestown.

The 66-year-old was a keen tennis player and says Pickleball is a "great game, it's like a big version of table tennis".

One hundred and fifty people signed up to the programmes, which ran in February and March, to try the new trending sport.

It is suitable for all ages and can be played indoors or outdoors, on a court about a quarter the size of a tennis court, with a slightly lower net and using a perforated hollow plastic ball and paddles.

Damian Maguire from Fermanagh and Omagh District council said: "The Bawnacre Leisure Centre in Irvinestown have a very large tennis community and we've seen a lot of ex tennis players come back and play pickleball'.

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