HOLYOKE, Mass. - Pickleball is reported to be the fastest growing sport in the country, and the proof may be on the seven new pickleball courts at Holyoke Community College.

What You Need To Know

  • Holyoke Community College opened seven brand new pickleball courts for the public last fall

  • The courts are located inside the David Bartley Center inside Holyoke Community College

  • Admission is $5 per session, with pickleballs and rackets included

  • The courts are opened Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Athletic Director Thomas Stewart said the college opened their indoor pickleball courts last fall with the goal of creating an affordable past time for the community.

On Monday, people from all over western Massachusetts packed the David Bartley Center, including Westfield resident Angie Weaver, who recently picked up the sport.

"I played pickleball when I retired from teaching," said Weaver. "So I've been playing for about two and a half years, and I absolutely love it. The first day I played it, I came home and told my husband I'm going to love this game and I play now basically seven days a week."

Many of the players at the courts said the game is great for exercise and is accessible for people at all levels. It’s also become a popular spot to network and meet people.

"It's not like tennis where you need a lot of time to drill and get your shots on," said Wilbraham resident Dave Pastore. "Everyone can come out and play right away, and then for the better players who have some kind of a background either in tennis or ping pong, it's kind of a similar skill set to that so everyone can come out and play."

"I have an app on my phone," said Weaver.  "A pickleball app and what I do is when I travel I go the closest pickleball parks to where I'm staying. I've played in California, I've played in Arizona. There's so many nice people out there. You just paddle up or you go by your level and it's awesome. It's great exercise and I've met a lot of wonderful people playing."

Holyoke Community College's pickleball courts are open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. It costs $5 per session, with paddle and pickleballs included for anyone who interested in trying out the sport.