Happy Camper for Friday, April 3, 2015

Melanie Okamoto was not prepared for the large turnout for the Pickleball clinic Wednesday at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center.

John Hodges, the volunteer Kauai ambassador for the Pickleball Association, said at the start there were nearly 100 people waiting to try their hand at the sport, which was invented by a congressman in Washington state whose dog, Pickles (of course), would fetch the ball while they played.

Aaron Uyeda said the Lihue Fire Station even has a court where the firemen play pickleball, and the fire guys were at the clinic to learn the rules from Hodges.

Carolyn Lum and Donna Umetsu (aren’t they tennis people?) were having a blast on the court, and the Waimea wrestling coach said this was a good way to stay active now that wrestling season is over.

Jason Caldeira loves the game, but wants the name changed to something beefier, and everyone agreed — the high school kids haven’t found it, yet!

Dennis Fujimoto can be reached at 245-0453 or at dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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