INWOOD, W.Va. (WDVM) — There are many fundraisers in our region for community causes. The Martinsburg Rotary Fall Golf Outing is a perfect example. There’s a new indoor sport that’s giving it some stiff competition.
For more than 100 years the nonprofit Rotary Club in Martinsburg has raised funds for literacy programs, child care, helping the Boys and Girls clubs, upgrading local parks and playgrounds. A novel way to fund these programs is through entrance fees for a regional pickleball tournament.
“It’s healthy. It attracts a lot of great people. It’s the kind of thing that anybody can do,” said Steve Truax, president, Rotary Club of Martinsburg.
Pickleball is relatively new here, played at the Randy Smith Recreation Center in Inwood. Rotary said that by building enthusiasm here in Berkeley County, players from far and wide connect here.
“It’s not just for the locals, but where other tournament players from around other regions would come here instead of our people traveling to those tournaments,” said Robert L. “Rob” Lowe II, Martinsburg Rotary Pickleball Classic Tournament director.
Don’t feel you have to be an Olympic athlete to play pickleball. You will have no trouble finding your competitive level.
“It crosses all barriers,” Lowe says. “It means you don’t have to have money to play this sport. And it’s a great social connection for people of all walks of life. And people just thoroughly enjoy it.”
Not confident in your skills on the court? Truax says that’s not even an issue.
“All are welcome, all skill levels, all ages,” said Truax.
The tournament success would not be possible without the generous support from an array of sponsors in the neighboring business community.
This is the largest pickleball tournament in Berkeley County, attracting interest far beyond the region. And the tournament dates are March 12 and 13. Players may compete at advanced and intermediate levels. registration is open until March 5.