Open house kicks off plans to expand pickleball, tennis in Natchez

Published 6:10 pm Sunday, April 25, 2021

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Sunday afternoon tennis balls and pickleballs flew back and forth over nets as people played tennis and pickle ball at Duncan Park. The open house event kicks off a month of May full of plans for tennis and pickleball opportunities for Natchezians.

Natchez Tennis Pro Johnny Wahlborg and Pickleball Director Frankie Spence ran from court to court giving tips and instructions to people. On a bulletin board by the courts were goals the two have for Duncan Park.

Long term goals are

  • Resurface courts one through four and install new lights.
  • Courts seven and eight will be converted to Pickleball courts.
  • Add four new courts.

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Short term goals are

  • Refresh the deck by washing, staining, and coating it.
  • Improve the landscape.
  • Re-supply all of the equipment.
  • Replace nets on the courts.

Over all they hope to get 100 new people to try tennis and 100 new people to try pickleball. Wahlborg said the goals are pretty attainable.

“The new mayor and aldermen are aggressively wanting to change the community and bring strong value to the people who live here,” Wahlborg said. “You can put extra energy into improving the quality of life.”

One of the ways Duncan Park will improve the quality of life for Natchezians is through recreational opportunities. Beginning May 3, there will be a clinic for people who are new to the game of pickleball, Spence said.

In addition to the clinic, he said there will be a round robin of tennis and pickleball games each Thursday in the month of May at 6 p.m. Wahlborg and Spence are working to host Friday night mixers, Family days, Wheelchair program and a special olympics program at Duncan Park to grow the games of tennis and pickleball.