GREENWICH, CT — Two official pickleball courts are now available to reserve at Christiano Park after years of requests from residents.
Patricia Troiano, the town’s recreation supervisor, said interest in the sport among residents has steadily increased over the past few years, particularly this year as residents look for more safe outdoor activities to enjoy due to the coronavirus.
“[Residents] feel safer outdoors,” Troiano said. “They also want the ability, when they’re distant from others, to be able to have some moveable activity and not have to keep a mask on the entire time. That’s something people have told us.”
According to Troiano, pickleball allows residents to play outdoors while safely distanced across a net from an opponent. (To sign up for Greenwich breaking news alerts and more, click here.)
Previously, residents could play pickleball on tennis courts, which use higher and longer nets, at the Chrisiano and Loughlin Avenue parks.
“There were only two tennis courts at Christiano Park,” Troiano said. “The second tennis court was converted into two pickleball courts on either side of the tennis net.”
The other tennis court, which has colored lines indicating the correct boundaries for a pickleball game, remained untouched, Troiano said. Prior to the two new courts at Christiano, the town had six unofficial pickleball courts residents could use.
“This is the first time we’ve had official [pickleball] courts,”Troiano said, “where players can reserve it, just like they would to play tennis, and just show up with the pickleball and the racket.”
Troiano said the town has talked about putting in official courts for over three years, however the actual planning and work to have one established at Christiano took a little over a year.
“The community has been driving this even prior to COVID-19,” Troiano said. “We have had requests for the last two or three years to get official courts in.”
The town turned its attention to the courts at Christiano first due to the foundation already being in place, Troiano said.
“It was already a tennis court,” Troiano said, “we just had to repaint it and put in new in-bounds and lines, then install the two posts for the two courts and the nets. That was a lot easier to do at Christiano for the first set of official courts.”
Troiano said the estimated cost of establishing the two official courts was originally about $11,000, however she was unsure what the final cost turned out to be.
She also noted the recreation department was already planning to add three more official courts at the Moretti Athletic Field in Cos Cob.
For now, residents who wish to use the courts at Christiano can reserve them through the town website until Nov. 16. After that, the courts can be used on a first-come, first-served basis until the reservation system starts up again in the spring.
“We’re really happy that we finally got this done,” Troiano said, “and if there’s any time to finally add these courts, it’s now. We