Burnley mother and daughter duo win national bronze at Pickleball English Nationals at Bolton Arena
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The mother and daughter duo clinched a place on the podium in the women’s 18+ 3.0 category, beating Shabnam Smith and Isabel Kerrison 11-8 11-0 in the bronze medal match.It was the second medal of the championships for Lucy who also won silver in the singles event and the 24-year-old hailed an extra special victory.“I am proud because I won the bronze with my mum who is 61,” she said. “I am proud of her, it was a good win.“It was my first singles tournament ever so I wasn’t expecting to get to the final. It’s been very humbling.”
Over the past year, pickleball has seen a meteoric rise in the UK due to its inclusive and accessible nature, with an estimated 12,000 regular players and over 450 venues offering the sport.
There are now 682 athletes attending the National Championships at the Bolton Arena, up from 430 at the 2022 event.
The sport already enjoys popularity in the USA, with celebrities such as Katy Perry and Leonardo DiCaprio playing the racquet sport that combines elements of tennis, table tennis, and badminton.
Lucy first picked up a paddle six years ago but has ramped up her commitment since graduating from Lancaster University, with the sport’s famously welcoming community a key component.
“I played a bit here and there and about year and a half ago I started playing competitively and played in some leagues,” she added.
“I entered the English Open in Telford and the rest is history. We know we are at a disadvantage with my mum being a bit older but we don’t care. It’s all about the game.
“I’ve never had a game where you don’t have a good natter beforehand, it’s a dead good community. “The whole community element is what draws people into it.”
2023 English Nationals takes place at Bolton Arena from Thursday October 26th to Sunday October 29th.
This year’s English Nationals is sponsored by Skechers, Franklin, Scan and UK Pickleball Shop, Play will commence from 9am each day. Head to https://www.pickleballengland.org/ to find out more or to find your nearest place to play.