New outdoor pickleball courts almost ready

Mark DeLap
Posted 5/31/22

Pickleball courts needs volunteers

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New outdoor pickleball courts almost ready


WHEATLAND – The old adage is that that many hands make light work, and local pickleball organizers are calling for volunteers to come out and help finish the work to make the new courts ready to pickle.

There needs to be power washing, tape and painting, installing nets, installing benches, pouring concrete among other things to make the new courts fully functional.  The workers are needed between June 6-10 followed by the grand pickleball fiesta June 11.

Many volunteers came out late last summer and into the fall to help put up the poles and fencing for the two new pickleball courts that were erected at Lewis Park.

One of organizers of the new construction for the new outdoor pickleball courts is former Wheatland resident Jamie Schindler.

“We all started playing pickleball down here because of Coach Gallegos.” Schindler said. “He was the one that brought it to town. The group grew from two courts to three courts and pretty soon we had 80 people, all ages from 20 years old to 80-year-olds.”

The group tried to play outside during the summer at the park on the tennis courts, but the surface was not pickleball friendly and the vision promoted a challenge to establish some outdoor pickleball facilities.

“It was a dream at that point, and one day I was reading the Platte County Record-Times and in there was a story about a grant opportunity from AARP,” Schindler said. “It was called livables communities grant and they award it to all 50 states every year.”

When Schindler saw the article, the deadline for application had already passed so he conversed with the people on the town council and asked if it would be possible to apply for the grant the following year.

“They agreed to applying for the grant and also agreed to commit some money from Wyoming Community Gas,” Schindler said. “$10k was committed from WCG and we applied for the grant right before I moved out of town.”

Schindler, a former Wheatland resident has since relocated to Colorado.

“I told Candy (Wright) that if we got the grant that I would come back and help them because I didn’t want to leave them hanging,” Schindler said. “But anyway, we did get the grant and that grant was for $28K which is actually pretty significant.”

The AARP grant is usually for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1-30K, but only award two or three in that $30K range according to Schindler.

“I attribute that amount we got to Candy Wright and her grant writing abilities,” Schindler said. “We gave her raw material and she put it all together and made it professional, so kudos goes to Candy for that.”

Schindler doesn’t know the total price tag for the new pickleball courts, but estimates that the figure will be somewhere around $50K. The additional monies will come from the city budget and from fundraisers such as the tournaments that were held in 2021.

There is nothing official about the pickleball group in Platte County, according to Schindler. It’s just a grassroots gang of pickleball enthusiasts who are excited about having fun and staying healthy.