Could pickleball be the next big thing in PH sports? 2
Photo by Joan Azeka on Unsplash

Could pickleball be the next big thing in Philippine sports?

BGC’s 31st Street “Pickleball Central” is now ground zero for everything pickleball in Manila
GERALD P. GRANA | May 21 2023

Pickleball, a captivating sport that seamlessly blends the exhilaration of tennis, the precision of ping-pong, and the agility of badminton, has finally made its way to the Philippines. 

The game was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington by three dads—Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum. They wanted to create a game that would keep their families entertained during the summer so they improvised using materials they had on hand.

Toby Claudio and Coach Leander enjoying a game of pickleball. 

The original setup included a badminton court but in the size of the space available, and the players used ping-pong paddles. For the ball, they used one made of perforated plastic. It was named after one of the inventors’ dog, Pickles, who loved to chase the ball during games. According to NBC News, pickleball is now one of the fastest growing sports in America. 

Through a partnership with Bonifacio Global City (BGC), this unique game has found a home in the Philippines, in what locals now call the “Pickleball Central.” Situated on BGC’s 31st Street, the venue has become the sport’s epicenter, offering fun clinics and open play games every weekend throughout the month of May.

The rise in popularity of pickleball can be attributed to the game's accessibility, engaging gameplay, and its ability to foster a competitive spirit. Drawing inspiration from some of the most beloved racquet sports, pickleball caters to players of all ages and skill levels, making it an inclusive pastime. 

Toby's Sports, the multi-brand retailer, has also made playing pickleball accessible to Filipinos by carrying an exclusive line of top-grade pickleball equipment. A wide range of products, including paddles, balls, and nets will be available soon in its stores nationwide. 

Pickleball has found a home in the Philippines at what locals now call the “Pickleball Central” situated on BGC’s 31st Street.

“We've always been committed to helping Filipinos find new ways to engage in sports and an active lifestyle,” says Toby Claudio, president of Quorum International Inc., parent company of Toby’s Sports. “We've seen sports like tennis, badminton, boxing and running boom, and we think that pickleball could be the next big sport that Filipinos will get into.” 

Whether you're a seasoned player looking to sharpen your skills or a curious beginner eager to dive into the world of pickleball, you can get trained at the BGC Pickleball Central clinics. Led by experienced coaches who are well-versed in the intricacies of the sport, these sessions could provide valuable guidance and training tailored to each participant's proficiency level. You can learn from the best and rub shoulders with fellow enthusiasts by signing up. 

Click on this link to register for Open Play sessions or enroll in the clinics delivered in collaboration with coaches from the Philippine Pickleball Federation.