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“There isn’t a pickleball court that you go to that you don’t hear people, what would you say, razzing each other in a very friendly way and it winds up in laughter,” said Klamath Basin Pickleball Association President Kristi Redd.

“And laughter’s the best exercise we could all have.”

Pickleball association members flocked to Steen Sport Park Thursday afternoon to get the first feel of the park’s six new pickleball courts, which can accommodate 24 players at a time.

Two years in the making, the $75,000 project was funded by members’ efforts, such as fundraisers and donations, in addition to $30,000 from an Oregon Parks and Recreation grant utilizing lottery funds.

“It’s friendly, it gets people moving, it provides a place of camaraderie and it’s fun,” Redd said.

Dolores Culver said that in addition to the fun of playing, it’s a good work out, too.

“You meet a lot of nice people and it’s really good exercise.”

Redd echoed the community the game builds.

“The best part about pickleball is that it’s a social game,” she said.

According to Redd, the association grew in the past few years from 60 members to its current size of about 200 players and the group knew they needed more facilities.

People can learn to play pickleball the second Saturday of every month at Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s gym from 9 to 11 a.m. when the association provides lessons.

“People can play pickleball that have never done a sport,” Redd said.“It’s a big family here.”

The plans for the courts include a permanent fence that wasn’t ready for the unveiling of the courts Thursday afternoon, but Superior Fence donated a temporary barrier for the day’s fun.

Redd plans to have an official grand opening for the courts early next spring.