Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

An Austin teenager teaches pickleball lessons to older adults

By meerna Jun12,2024

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Anderson High School student is sharing his lifelong love of pickleball with a wider audience by launching a service project aimed at teaching older residents to love the sport.

Kesh Gupta is a senior at Anderson High School. This spring, he launched The Pickled Age, a community initiative designed to provide older residents with social community and physical activity – courtesy of pickleball.

In Gupta’s case, he wanted to use his nearly decade of experience playing and teaching the sport in this endeavor.

“I have noticed that in the senior community, the two main causes of depression in this group are social isolation and loss of physical health,” he said. “I thought about it and thought, ‘What better way to solve these problems than with pickles?’”

Gupta began reaching out to local senior groups to drum up interest before organizing pickling clinics in several different locations. Ultimately, the project landed at the Austin Tennis Center as its main home base.

So far, Gupta said The Pickled Age has attracted 10 to 15 participants, adding that he and his instructors have been able to really connect with older players on a personal level and learn their stories.

“It was great to see all the interaction that took place. Pickleball is a great way to bring people together,” he said, adding, “It was really great, especially for the instructors — me and my instructors bonded with the seniors and it was a great experience.”

Gupta said he hopes to expand The Pickled Age’s player base to reach a wider audience of older adults. He considered the size of the Austin Tennis Center facility as a place where the program could be implemented as it grew and evolved.

And slow and steady wins the race, Gupta said; He added that anyone who has a passion for a social project can start small and still make a huge difference.

“I really love the social interaction part of pickleball and the fact that you can play with people of all ages,” he said. “I want to make an impact in our community.”

The next The Pickled Age clinic will be held on Wednesday, June 19, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Austin Tennis Center, located at 7800 Johnny Morris Road. Those interested in attending the clinic or learning more about The Pickled Age can find more details online.

By meerna

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