The 2019 novel coronavirus has put the kibosh on a number of activities, but if the crowded courts at Carrie Blake Community Park are any indication, Sequim’s pickleball scene remains strong.
Courts at the City of Sequim Park at 202 N. Blake Ave. are open to play seven days a week with no court reservations.
Health guidelines under Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan are in place, including social distancing in the waiting area between the courts — players have marked 6 feet of distance with orange flags tied to the chain link fences — and some players wear masks on the court.
Gayle Powers, who’s played pickleball here for the past year-and-a-half, said that — a little like a pickup basketball game — players show up and soon mix and match for singles or (more often) doubles play.
Newcomers are welcome too, she said. Powers noted that she recently taught a 90-year-old the ins and outs of the game.
“He’s got mobility issues but he wanted to lean how to play. (Now) he knows enough so he can come and play.”
She added, “I’m not the only one (who teaches); it’s for anyone who needs help.”
Courts at Carrie Blake often see a usual crowd in the morning, break around lunch time, and a second set of players in the afternoon, Power said. But both groups are welcoming, she said.
Creation of the eight courts was the culmination of a three-year effort between the Sequim Picklers group and City of Sequim that came to fruition in June 2018, adding to the park that now boasts two softball fields, a skatepark, playgrounds, off-leash dog park, shuffleboard and bocce courts, horseshoe pits, picnic areas and more. Plus, at the nearby Water Reclamation Site, the city boasts a band shell, fishing pond, multi-use playfields, access to the Olympic Discovery Trail and more.
Many of the amenities have restrictions forced by the COVID-19 pandemic; Phase 2 allows for outdoor recreation involving five or fewer people outside one’s household.