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Online newspaper of Altoona Area High School in Altoona, Pennsylvania
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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Students, staff take to the courts in new pickleball club

Swing into action. Students and staff are encouraged to join the new pickleball club advised by music teacher Kelly Sipes.

The pickleball club, advised by music teacher Kelly Sipes, is in full swing. Students and staff have attended practices at least one to three times a week so far after school. 

The new club was founded due to Sipes’ love of the tennis-like game. Pickleball can be described as a combination of ping-pong, tennis and badminton, although scoring and rules of the games differ. She was first introduced to the sport  by her family and saw a game being played at a local park. 

“My family taught me how to play three years ago,” Sipes said. “I sat down with a starter pack of paddles and didn’t really do much with it. I live near Garfield Park, and we were playing tennis when we saw people playing pickleball, and we decided to ask them about it. They had just resurfaced the old tennis and pickleball courts, and I thought ‘this is a chance to try something new,’ and I haven’t looked back.” 

Her inspiration came from her family and seeing pickleball being played locally. Sipes decided to contact head principal Andrew Neely and had the club approved shortly after. 

The pickleball club is open to students and staff. Health teacher Amy Palfey began practicing weekly with the club. 

“Mrs. Sipes did a great job at training us and doing skill work,” Palfey said. “This helped us know the shots and taught us how to keep score.” 

Palfey was inspired by her daughter who plays pickleball in her spare time. She thinks it will be a fun activity to do together. 

“My daughter started playing pickleball, and I thought it would be a fun activity that I could actually do with her. I wanted to learn how to play,” Palfey said. “I think it’s a lot of fun, and Mrs. Sipes has done an amazing job at instructing us.” 

Sipes’ experience with pickleball has encouraged students to join the club. Senior Sydney Stroup plays volleyball and decided to try pickleball for fun in the spring. 

“I needed something, and I thought it would be great because my friends were always up to do something,” Stroup said. “I’m so sad that it started my senior year. During my freshman year I totally would have done it. I think it’s great the sport has grown so much right now, and I think it’s great that people are starting to join. It kind of takes the title of an older person’s sport, but it is really fun.” 

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Cevin Dively
Cevin Dively, Reporter
My name is Cevin Dively. I took yearbook class in eighth grade, and found it interesting, so I decided to continue on with it in the high school. I took Intro to pub, and learned a lot more, then got placed in newswriting for my sophomore year. Aside from newswriting, I'm a Lioneer and dance competitively for a new, local studio. I can't wait to begin another amazing year.  

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