As of late, pickleball has been one of the fastest growing sports in America, and a father-son duo made sure to take full advantage of its popularity.
According to The Economist, pickleball was the nation’s fastest growing sport in 2019, and the pandemic has acted as a catalyst. Due to gyms being shut down or operating under modified rules and regulations, many people have begun to pick up a paddle, and a new hobby.
As things started calming down and gyms began to reopen, Devan and Mike Egan of Orem saw an opportunity to fulfill the increased demand for pickleball-hungry athletes. With outdoor courts being overcrowded, they aimed to find a way to bring pickleball to those not willing to drive around aimlessly looking for an open court. Hence, Club Pickleball USA was born.
“We started the same way every other pickleball enthusiast starts,” Devan Egan said. “My dad played 40 years of competitive tennis. He said he had never seen the enthusiasm in tennis like he has seen in pickleball.”
Club Pickleball USA is located directly off I-15, right across from Utah Valley University. The Egans jumped at the chance to grab this spot, as they knew it was the perfect location to serve as Utah County’s pickleball hub.
Despite its convenient location a mere mile from campus, UVU intramurals will continue to utilize their own pickleball courts instead of asking students to trek across the freeway to play a match with friends.
When asked whether or not Club Pickleball USA would impact UVU’s intramural pickleball league, Dustin Lamont, Program Director of Intramurals and Club Sports, made it clear that UVU is well-equipped to play pickleball here on campus.
“Pickleball has been really growing in popularity the last couple years and it’s awesome to see such a big facility go up just across the street,” Lamont said. “The SLWC actually resurfaced the MAC Court in the spring of 2020 to include 3 pickleball/badminton courts in that space so we don’t plan on using that new facility. We have had a pickleball league these last two semesters utilizing those new courts and hope to better utilize the MAC Court once some COVID restrictions expire.”
Rest assured, students who participate in UVU’s intramural pickleball program can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they will still be able to play locally at the Student Life and Wellness Center. While this may not seem like a big deal, the accessibility of pickleball courts can be very helpful for students who don’t own cars, including those who take public transit or choose to use the skybridge to get to campus. It allows students to play a game where they attend school instead of having to go elsewhere to fulfill their pickleball cravings.
Regardless of the amazing intramural options offered to students at UVU, some may still choose to join Club Pickleball USA. Those interested in learning more about the facility and memberships can visit https://www.clubpickleballusa.com/.
Those looking to stick closer to home and join UVU’s very own intramural pickleball league can find more info at https://www.uvu.edu/intramurals/.
Connor is a public relations major. He is a wannabe golfer, loves to play the piano, and enjoys trying new dessert places and bakeries with his wife.