San Gabriel pickleball started in December 2016 at Smith Park and now has open play sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to noon. The group has grown to over 20 players.
Two San Gabriel residents have developed their skills enough to compete in a recent Senior Pickleball Tournament. Ixchel Amor is a Black Belt in Kung Fu, loves mountain biking, and is an accomplished artist who teaches art in her studio nearby. She initially borrowed a paddle and started to play pickleball, but now plays six times a week. The other player is Lipen Chang, who heard about the game from a friend, bought a paddle and came to see if he would like it. He often practices with his wife Josephine, and keeps busy with his 3 sons who attend/graduated from Gabrielino High School.
Ixchel and Lipen competed in the Pasadena Senior Pickleball Tournament at Scholl Canyon Golf & Tennis Park located in Glendale. This 3-day tournament is a USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) sanctioned tournament, from which qualifying players can advance to the national Senior Pickleball Tournament held later in the year. A total of 217 players from California and other states registered for the event. Ixchel and Lipen both played with doubles partners from other Pickleball groups, and both emerged as gold medalists in the 50-59 age group. Congratulations to Ixchel and Lipen on their wins!
If you would like to try pickleball, new players are always welcome at Smith Park. For more information, please contact Community Services at 626.308.3875.