Miina McCown/The Broadside
Like playing pickleball, tennis or ping pong? Want to be involved in some kind of organized sport but you’re not sure where to start due to the current pandemic? Central Oregon Community College has students covered, offering free organized pickleball games at the Pickleball Zone, hosted by Josh Motenko with the Club and Intramural Sports department.
All skill levels are welcome to join, with a professional coach available on hand for the first hour of each event to assist inexperienced players. Students are simply asked to follow COVID-19 guidelines, wearing masks and social distancing as well as bring their court or basketball shoes and a water bottle. There will be extra shoes available for borrowing if needed.
The Broadside spoke with Joshua Motenko, Assistant Director of Club and Intramural Sports, who stated that pickleball will continue to be offered by COCC at the Pickleball Zone.
“Students who are still enrolled or are planning to be enrolled at the college even if they’re not in summer classes but will be during the fall can come throughout the summer… we want to make sure that we promote that as long as students have an 820 number, they will be able to participate,” he remarked.
While events will continue all summer long, it is not yet fully clear whether or not, especially with all the advancements that have been made regarding public guidelines if games will continue throughout the fall term. Motenko noted that if different venues were to open once the campus is fully reopened, the department is hoping to continue some of the off-campus events or to offer pickleball on campus.
COCC had begun offering pickleball during COVID-19 in the midst of the winter term, the only real challenge faced by the Club and Intramural Sports department being maintaining events during the increase in COVID-19 numbers in Deschutes County.
Motenko also noted that student turnout at events has been consistent. “We have had around eight people playing at each event, so it’s been perfect. And if we have more people showing up, we can start using more courts. The more it grows the more availability we’ll have,” he said.
Upcoming events include every Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. Students can register for any upcoming event using this link, as well as to keep up with any updates for regulations or event times.