Within five years, China may have 10,000 pickleball courts and 100 million players, according to Seymour Rifkind ("Rif"), US pickleball ambassador, as outlined in a recent The Dink Newsletter story quoted here:
‘Rif’ says in a recent Front Office Sports article that this was a pledge given to him from “top sports officials in China.” If Rif’s prediction is correct, that means China will have outpaced the United States in less than a couple of years, since the APP claimed only 36.5 million Americans played in 2022 (assume Canada is 10% - 15% of this or more?).
Sure, America may have the upper hand in terms of total courts built already. But as Front Office Sports points out, China has a dozen cities with larger populations than New York…if pickleball does become popular there, they’ll be forced to build quickly. Imagine the wait times otherwise.
China doesn’t just have the numbers to make it the most popular nation for pickleball, it has the engagement to match. According to the article:
Does this help pickleball achieve inclusion in the Olympics...if China’s interest in pickleball literally funds the sport’s future, how could we complain?
Ben Johns in China; demonstrations in China like our
PickleballBC upcoming Wellness Show Vancouver; and a DUPR competition
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