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Merrill to build six pickleball courts by next summer

Eileen Persike starjournnow.com

Pickleball is gaining popularity in the Northwoods, and the City of Merrill is jumping on board.

The city just received a grant from the Bierman Family Foundation to build six lighted pickleball courts in Ott’s Park.

“We are really excited to add an additional amenity for the people in Merrill to get out there and play,” says Chantel Kuczmarski, the city’s communication consultant.

Pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong. With 4.8 million players nationwide, it’s one of the fastest growing sports in the country.

Kuczmarkski says the sport is spreading to Merrill after City Administrator David Johnson, who’s set to retire next month, started seeing pickleball courts on his travels and applied for a grant to bring them to Merrill.

“He realized that it was a growing sport and felt like it would be a really good addition to have in Merrill and just another incentive for people to want to live in Merrill,” Kuczmarkski says.

Construction on the courts is scheduled to begin in the spring at no expense to taxpayers.

Kuczmarkski says the courts should be ready for play by the time the snow melts next summer.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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