It was just over a year ago that we introduced the game of Pickleball to Renee Glassman. She and one other player would meet Rich and I on the courts at least once a week to play. We can remembe when it was only four of us trying to fit time in our schedule. Renee loved the game the first time she played, and has been the leader of our group ever since. Over the last year she has worked hard to improve her game, and she has introduced the game to many of our current players. She is the glue that keeps our group together, making sure that everyone knows when and where we'll be playing every week. Renee joined three other memebers of the Club for a Pickleball Demo at the Bartles Middle School in Tampa. Mark and Renee also graciously opened their home to all of us for a wonderful Pickleball PotLuck last year.
Because of all their hard work promoting the game, we wanted Mark and Renne to be the first people we introduced on our new BLOG. We were going to do our regular story form, but we loved the answers so much the way that Renee responded that we decided to post this as a question/answer...........
Question: You live in Wesley Chapel, Florida now, but I know you are from New York?
Renee: I was born in the Bronx and lived in the Bronx untul I was 11 and then moved to Flushing, Queens. Mark was born in Brooklyn and at an early age moved to New Hyde Park. We raised our family on Long Island after Mark served 4 years in the Navy.
Question: Tell us about your family. Your children and grandchildren. Any chance they will get on the pickleball courts soon?
Renee: We have two sons, Brian and Gary. Both of the children have played pickleball and enjoyed the sport. Unfortunatly they don't have the time with their busy schedules to get out and play. I have two grandson's, Jacob 11 and Sean 7. They have both watched me play but have not attempted to play pickleball. They have busy schedules as well. Also, Sean is learning tennis and I didn't want to confuse him with teaching him picklball. I have a funny story about Sean. This week his class was doing compound words and Sean raised his hand and said a compound word was pickleball. I volunteer in his school and his teacher ran into me and told me the story. She said, Sean I never heard of pickleball therefore it is not a compound word. What is pickleball? He said it was a game his Grandmother played. So, she approached me and said that Sean used pickleball as a compound word and I told him it wasn't. I told her indeed it was. I gave her a history lesson on pickleball and told her to go to the site. She hasn't gotten to the site to date but she does believe Sean now. Never under estimate someone young.
Question: When did you and Mark move to Florida?
Renee: I moved to Florida in Dec. of '99. Mark moved a year and a half later when he retired in June of 2001.
Question: We know you play pickleball in Meadow Pointe. But how else are you are involved with the community?
Renee: Mark and I are very active and committed in our community. I have been a Vice President of the Voluntary HOA in our community since it's inception. I served prior to that as a council rep for Morningside. I activly am on the ARC and Deed restriction committee for Meadow Pointe Two. I have belonged to the NY Club in our community. I volunteer this yea 2 days in our local elementary school. I work in the schools media center one day a week and assit a teacher another day during the week. I also belong to a water aerobics class. Most important of all I am involved with the Meadow Pointe Pickleball Club. I send out the weekly notices of where we play and make sure we have enough players to play during the week. Mark had been a Council Rep for Meadow Pointe for Morningside and then became a CDD Supervisor elect. He won re election for CDD Supervisor and had to step down due to personal reasons two years ago. I am happy and proud to say that Mark was just re elected this past tuesday for CDD Supervisor for Meadow Pointe Two. He also belonged to the NY club and the pickleball club. He had to stop playing pickleball because he had knee surgery. He has to go for his other knee in 2009. He has played a game on an occasion since his surgery. I hope eventually he will be able to play again. He is a great pickleball player (better than I am) and he very much enjoys it. He doesn't come to watch me play because he wants to play the game and is afraid of injuring his knee and wants to wait until he recovers from his second surgery.
Question: We know how much you enjoy the game and how you are always on the look out for new players. Tell us about the people you have introducted to the game. Anything that you want to tell us about how you got people to come out and play?
Renee: I have introduced and promoted pickleball to several people. I just mention that I play a game called pickleball and they are welcome to come and try the game. That it is a great sport and we have a great group that we play with. Donna and Rich introduced Don (Bass) and I to the sport. There are too many people to name. Some were Pat Busbice, Lorraine Greene, Bob and Lorraine Koryous, RuthAnn Cantelmo, Serpil, Coletta, Chrissy and others that I can't recall. Some had to back out of the game for health reasons. We never turn anyone away and encourage what I call newbees to play when they come to watch for the first time. Most people love the game and find it adictive. We have many regulars. The group of pickleball players are a great bunch. We all get along famously. I enjoy playing and I enjoy the friendship. It's a great way to meet new people and it is a great source of excersie.
Question: Is there anything else about you and Mark and Pickleball that you want to share with our readers?
Renee: Pickleball is a great game. Mark originally did not want to come to try the game. Mostly because we never competed with each other in a sport. I coaxed him into trying the game and he was hooked. It is the only activity besides the NY club and Meadow Pointe involvement that we have every been involved in since our children left the nest. It's a great family game and I would encourage and do encourage as many people as I can to try the game.
Thanks Renee for the time you spend promoting this sport. We wish Mark the very best and a quick recovery from the knee surgery. And we hope to see him out on the courts again enjoying the game. Thank you both for your hard work and your friendship.