Mercer Bucks Pickleball Club (MBPC) is scheduled to open January 2022 in Ewing Township. With 9 indoor courts, the 26,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility will be the largest indoor Pickleball facility in the Northeast and is easily accessible from all points in Mercer County. MBPC, the first such facility of its kind in Mercer and Bucks counties, will provide best-in-class-amenities. Their Pro-Cushion® courts will be easier on the joints than asphalt or concrete. Soundproofing will greatly diminish the “echo canyon” that most indoor paddle and sports facilities generate. Modern LED lights will provide excellent visibility and eliminate glare. Finally, the climate-controlled environment will always ensure perfect “Pickleball weather” at the club. Between games, players can catch a game of cornhole, relax in the spacious lounge, or enjoy the grab-and-go MBPC Café with light snacks or bring their own. There’s also a private Event Room that can host birthday parties, social gatherings, or serve as a meeting space for business and team-building events. For youngsters, summer camp options will be available. The club will offer instruction at every level from beginners to the more advanced afficionados.  Instructors will be available for private and group lessons as well as clinics and drills. Players can book private courts by the hour or enroll in leagues, round robins and tournaments. An automatic ball machine and practice “dink” court (dink: Pickleball lingo for a wicked shot that arcs downward across the net) are available for anyone who wants to up their game. Balls and paddles will be available for those that have not yet purchased their own. The MBPC “Merch Nook” will offer demos and paddles along with unique and fun Pickleball themed gifts and apparel. Pickleball, the fastest growing sport in America, has burgeoned across the US, expanding by more than 21 percent to 4.2 million players through 2020 (USA Pickleball Association). A hybrid of tennis, ping pong and badminton, it offers an aerobic workout like tennis, but the courts are smaller, don’t demand the speed required by tennis, and result in a lower-impact game.  Played with lightweight paddles and balls similar to wiffle balls, Pickleball doesn’t impose the torque on elbows and shoulders that tennis does. However, Pickleball’s biggest draws for many are its social benefits. It’s an easy-to-learn and family-oriented game, so children, parents and grandparents can enjoy multigenerational time together on the court. Also, while most common as a doubles sport, Pickleball accommodates singles too, allowing for spontaneous play wherever friends and family gather. In light of Pickleball’s tremendous growth over the last several years, researchers have been studying its benefits, in particular among middle-aged and older people—the populations who have generated most of the Pickleball craze. On average, the sport burns 350 calories per hour (American Council on Exercise). Aside from getting a workout, players also sharpen their minds because Pickleball requires a fair amount of strategy. Studies have also shown that Pickleball can help stave off or control chronic disease1, reduce the risk of depression and improve overall well-being2. How did MBPC come to be? In fall of 2020, two recently retired couples from Yardley started playing Pickleball together. The Voelzkes and Gabrieles became impassioned by the lively sport. They created a makeshift court with painters tape and a portable net in their cul-de-sac. As the weather changed, they realized the need for an indoor Pickleball facility in the local area. The enterprising foursome decided to blend operational, marketing and business expertise with the passion for their favorite pastime.  The result: the largest dedicated indoor Pickleball club in the Northeast. “We visited indoor Pickleball facilities across the country and were certain we could bring the best-of-the-best to Mercer and Bucks counties. After searching the area for many months, we found the perfect location for fun and fitness with easy access for all,” said Sharon Voelzke. As the club prepares to open, MBPC is generating excitement with a limited number of pre-opening Premiere Memberships offering significant savings in court fees, organized play and more. Gift certificates make great stocking-stuffers.  And as the new year approaches, the club is an ideal place for resolutions to get fit, stay sharp and spend more quality time with friends and family. It’s truly the place “Where Fun and Fitness Meet on the Court!” Stay up to date at the MBPC website (www.playmbpc.com), follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and be sure to keep an eye out for the grand opening at 370 Sullivan Way in Ewing, NJ. For interviews and photos for the upcoming MBPC grand opening, contact Lisa Gage at Lisa1lg3@gmail.com or Ann Schreiber at ann.d.schreiber@gmail.com.  

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