UK Coaching Week - Ian Kingsbury
Meet our coaches!
Since retiring, our Pickleball coach, Ian, qualified as an IPTPA instructor in Florida, teaching all aspects of the sport to our members at Gosport Leisure Centre and back in Sarasota. After starting the sport in 2013, he introduced the sport to his 180-unit condo association the following year, where his passion for coaching was born.
Ian introduced Pickleball to Alverstoke Lawn Tennis, Squash and Badminton club in 2019, but found the constraints of a Member’s Club too onerous and off-putting to promote Pickleball which is based around ‘Pay to Play’ and ‘Drop in’. In April of that year, he discovered Pickleball was offered as an activity onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. When he and his wife returned from Florida to sail out of Southampton, he discovered none of the crew knew how to play, so he ran a ‘Learn to Play Pickleball’ session over the course of the week which proved to be incredibly successful.
What do you enjoy most about coaching?
“Pickleball is played in 74 countries and is a sport that can be played and enjoyed by all ages. Although the majority of players are seniors, the average age is coming down because schools across the world now offer the sport as it is easier to play than tennis. I formed Gosport Pickleball Club in September 2020 and we now have over 50 members with some who have never played racquet or ball sports previously and are thoroughly enjoying the game plus the wonderful social element that comes with Pickleball. I have and will never charge to teach and promote the game of Pickleball because of the opportunities it gives everyone of all ages and skill levels.”
Any other fun facts/stories?
“In October last year in support of World Pickleball Day, I arranged for Lewis Coombes (BBC South Today Sports Editor) to visit Gosport Leisure Centre to feature the event and I also arranged for the chair of Pickleball England to be present to promote the sport in the BBC South area”. You can watch the video at the bottom of the page.
As far as Gosport Pickleball Club was concerned, we doubled our membership and other clubs in the south also attracted new members. On the actual day, we set up a temporary court and net outside the Leisure Centre’s front entrance and staged a serving competition for the kids.
Ian is keen to promote Pickleball locally and will assist in any way to further this fun sport!
The English National Championships are being held from June 29th - July 3rd with over 400 players on 19 line-taped courts.
If you are interested in finding out more about Pickleball or wish to get involved, please contact Ian Kingsbury on 02392 552881.