The league which is being held at the new and prestigious Smith Road facilities is open to all on-island firms and will consist of multiple divisions. Each team with a minimum of four players will be placed in divisions based on its playing ability and matched with opponents of a similar playing standard. Each firm can enter teams into more than one division although players from the higher divisions are not eligible to play for lower division teams. One to two matches per night will be held once per week during Monday-Thursday evenings, with the occasional match being held on a Saturday to make up for any rain.
“The corporate pickleball league dovetails with our strong commitment to wellness within the workplace and community and forms part of our firm’s corporate social responsibility programme” said Norman Klein, Appleby’s Managing Partner. He added “There is a huge demand right now for pickleball as the attraction to this sport is that anyone can play. The fact that the sport can be enjoyed by so many at varying levels of fitness and ability made it an easy decision to sponsor and we are delighted to be involved.”
The venue sits amongst a 17-acre parcel of land known as Halfway Pond on what is now the busiest road junction in Cayman. It was originally acquired by Capt. Osmond Thompson and subsequently passed to his 88-year-old son Mr Bob Thompson (Bob). Mr Bob’s sons and grandsons had a vision of one day building a state-of-the-art sports facility on the location.
In conjunction with this vision, Jerry Beck, a local entrepreneur set out to build the pickleball sport in Cayman on his return to the Island in January 2021. He initially installed two courts at his home, and along with a local tennis coach began teaching friends how to play. Friends invited more friends and before long over 100 people were playing weekly at Jerry’s house. Meanwhile, pickleball was growing across the Island with courts also being installed at Camana Bay, hotels and condominiums.
Jerry and a number of his friends decided to fund a company that would build a sports facility primarily dedicated to pickleball. The vision was to also have a health-focused restaurant and kids activity playground as well as a pro shop.
In July 2023, Pickleball Cayman opened the gates to the new facility to the public. The facility is currently run by Mr Bob’s grandson, Steve Thompson making it a truly generational family business. With over 1,000 registered members to date, Steve and Jerry are looking forward to hosting the new corporate league as well as opening their facility to visitors from around the world.
“This has been an incredibly exciting journey for us” said Jerry Beck. “The Thompson family and I have all been able to realise our dreams and offer this amazing facility to the Cayman Islands community. We are thrilled to bring this inclusive sport into people’s lives and share the joy that it has given us.”
Referencing the corporate league, Steve Thompson added “I’m delighted we are holding our first corporate league so soon after our opening and with 40 teams already registered it promises to be a very successful event.”
The season will end on November 18th with playoffs and an Awards dinner at Pickleball Cayman’s amazing new restaurant, The Roost. There will be awards and trophies for players and teams in every division as well as some fun giveaways.
If your firm is interested in registering a team for the Appleby Corporate Pickleball league please visit www.pickleball.ky/corporate-league.
Pickleball was invented in 1965 and is a sport combining elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis. It is played with paddles and a light, perforated plastic ball that doesn’t fly as fast as a tennis ball. It is also played outdoors on a badminton sized court with a slightly modified tennis net. It can be played as doubles or singles and is said to be easier to learn than tennis, with less court space to cover at a slower speed, making it appealing to a wide range of people.
The Sports & Fitness Industry Association in the USA named it the fastest growing sport in America for the third year in a row in its 2023 Topline Participation Report. Pickleball is now up to a total of 36.5 million players in the USA alone.
For further information please contact:
Claire Lloyd-Hickey, Senior Business Development & Marketing Manager: [email protected]