The young may have a language of their own – but so too, it appears, do Westmeath's seniors.
What, after all, is this “pickleball” of which they speak?
Well, if you have any FOMO (fear of missing out!) you can watch and even try out pickleball for yourself at a “Come and Try” day for Westmeath's Men's Sheds and Active Retirement Groups in Moate Community Centre on Tuesday of next week, October 30, from 11am to 1pm.
The event is being hosted by the Westmeath Pickleballers, who are members largely of the Active Retirement Groups in Multyfarnham and Castletown-Geoghegan.
They have teamed up with Westmeath Sports Partnership to showcase the game and give visitors the opportunity to play.
Groups interested can then sign up to get use of a pickleball starter set, and to help them get the game going in their club, Westmeath Pickleballers will arrange to drop out to your group for a few sessions.
Pickleball is a fun sport played on a badminton-sized court with the net lowered to 3ft.
Easy for beginners to learn, it is played with a plastic ball and paddles which are about twice the size of a table tennis bat. After just a single session, novices will know the game.
Generally, it is played indoors and it can developed into a fast-paced competitive game.
The game can be adjusted to the ability and age of the people playing: one of Westmeath's players is a woman who is 83.
Westmeath's existing enthusiasts rave about the game:
“I was never a sporty person but I just love to play pickleball. It’s a great excuse to run around and you get lots of exercise without knowing: we were amazed when we tracked how far we moved, 3.5K in an hour and you don’t even realise it,” said one.
“I like the competitive aspect of the sport; it makes you feel alive and full of energy,” another player said, joking that just one good shot would set them up for the day.
One of the players reveals that prior to taking up pickleball, they had not played sport for almost 20 years: “But I picked up the game in just a few sessions and now I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to play,” the player said.
“It’s great for your body but also great for your mind.
“It’s just great fun, the laughing and joking during games makes it a real social activity.
“Winning a medal in the National Pickleball Championships meant as much to me as any medal I ever won.”
* To attend, text David on 083 3304885 with your group name and numbers attending.