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Big turnout for Delaware Senior Olympics pickleball tournament

Bonnie Strang, left, and Susan Brooker meet at the net after their hour-and-a-half match. Brooker won 11-4, 8-11 and 12-10 to take home the gold. SUBMITTED PHOTOS
September 18, 2017

Delaware Senior Olympics recently held its annual pickleball tournament in Dover. More than 200 players from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia as well as Florida, Texas, Missouri and California battled it out in women's and men's doubles, mixed doubles and singles play over three days. 

Certified pickleball pro Rocket Grubbs held clinics in Sussex County at Sports at the Beach in Georgetown and also at the Kent County Rec Center the day before the tournament. Grubbs offered his 5.0 certified instructor skills to many up-and-coming tournament players. The growth of pickleball in Delaware, the United States and the world has grown by the millions. This past June, more than 30 Delawareans participated at the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Ala., and brought home the gold in all the events against 900 picklers. The age brackets this year went down to 30, and there were players as old as 86 in the Delaware tournament. Pickleball is truly a game for all ages as well as all physical abilities. 

Dr. Bonnie Strang, 73, received the Delaware Senior Olympics Outstanding Athlete of the Year Award last year. She battled it out with Susan Brooker, 68, for singles gold. Their match on Saturday lasted one hour and 30 minutes, as they played three games to 11. Both Bonnie and Susan are members of the board of directors of Delaware Senior Olympics. 

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