Breaking News
More () »

Pickleball legend visits Grand Rapids to teach adaptive class

Seymour Rifkind traveled to Michigan to celebrate World Pickleball Day with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital's Adaptive Sports program.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in America and on October 10, World Pickleball Day is celebrated around the globe. Facilities host tournaments and other opportunities for people who want to try it out.

MVP Crahen in Grand Rapids was one such facility celebrating the unofficial holiday on Monday. The venue hosted Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital's Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports program, and a very special guest instructor.

"We've got a day of just introducing pickleball to the adaptive community, to those that haven't had an opportunity to get exposed to it, and just have a bunch of lasted a good time," said Seymour Rifkind.

"Rif," as he's known, is a legend in the pickleball world. He's medaled in the U.S. Open and other national tournaments. He's also the president and founder of the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association and president of the Pickleball Hall of Fame.

It is a very difficult sport to master, but it's easy for people of any ability level to start playing. Because of that, he says it's a great sport for adaptive sports athletes to pick up.

"It's a very easy sport to learn, so you get success within 10 or 15 minutes. I don't care if you've never played a sport, if you're five years old, or you're 85 years old. People can come out and they can start hitting the ball back and forth," Rifkind said.

"People meet success right away and that puts a smile on their face. And then you're getting really good physical exercise. There's well-documented health benefits of pickleball."

If you'd like to participate or volunteer for Mary Free Bed's Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports program, you can find out how on their website.

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@13onyourside.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Before You Leave, Check This Out