ELM GROVE, W.Va. (WTRF) – America’s fastest-growing sport has consumed participants across the country – the Ohio Valley included. 

A group called “Pickleball Cares” hosted a pickleball tournament for local players to participate in with the purpose of giving some love back to the courts in Elm Grove. 

46 players and 23 teams played in both men and women’s divisions of different ages and skill levels where all the proceeds are going to go right into the sport that director Gregg Boury says they have been working towards for 15 years. 

”The city is going to spend a lot of money rehabbing the court surfaces and we’re going to add seating, maybe some landscaping and that sort of thing. We have been working on this for all of the 15 years that I mentioned and it’s so reassuring to see people finally starting to play and find out what we already knew about pickleball.”

Gregg Boury – Tournament Director

Jene Kieffer and Jene Hildreth made up the oldest team, both being over 80 years old, and have earned the nickname, “The Ancient Jenes.”

They both say that this exercise has been extremely beneficial for not only their cardiovascular health, but socially as well.

”I’m an old tennis player, a ping pong player so this sort of fits in naturally. And I like to get up in the morning and move. So, this is a good way to do that. And it’s nice competition. Social – socially adept too, for that.”

Jene Kieffer – Pickleball Player

Wheeling resident Pat Carroll brought pickleball to the area after playing the sport on a Florida vacation and then creating his own league here 13 years ago. 

Carroll recently gave back control of the courts at the Patterson Recreation Park to the city, which means the facility is now open and free for anyone to play on.