Hi! My name is Barb Elgin and I'm the founder of this exciting new online community and network called Senior Women's Pickleball! About 18 months ago - while all of us were enduring the pandemic - I found myself frustrated with the lack of pickleball in my life.
During my 50's, when I first discovered the game, I went through what I now realize was a 'honeymoon' period: pickleball was new, I was in better shape, younger, less bothered by my chronic pain and in the groove with places and times to play, even if it meant fighting traffic and putting up with pickleball politics!
Now, in my 60's, I am finding I can't seem to get back on track with pickleball. My work schedule is hectic: I run my own business. I have more chronic pain than ever and finding a group of fun, friendly senior women who like a 'recreationally competitive' game to play with has been a bust.
Still, I swear I am fighting my way back! In the throes of the pandemic I started a Facebook Group called Senior Women's Pickleball Players. I was pleasantly surprised how much interest there was in the topic, right off the paddle!
As the Facebook group grew, I became more excited about what WE could accomplish together. Sadly, however, I was learning Facebook had some 'built in' limitations for groups likes ours trying to organize and take community to the next level. The old adage applies: you get what you pay for!
My frustrations with Facebook and a desire to find a community of sweet hearts, that is women 50 and up who likewise want play that combines fun, fitness and friendship led me to create a brand new space that has never existed before. So, after months of sweat equity I'd like to announce that...
I've now launched a 'beta' version of Senior Women's Pickleball. Instead of waiting for perfect, I am putting out there what I've put together so far. For SWP to become what it can, I invite you to join me on the ground floor and help me in continuing to birth and grow this baby into something you will want to become and remain a part of, as you go through your 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and beyond.
We're not pros, nor do we desire to turn pickleball into another grind in our lives. Translated: If you're a 5.0 or higher player, or you are extremely competitive, we might just frustrate you, LOL! Our goal is competitive, yet still RECREATIONAL play.
While we're all about having fun, that doesn't mean we aren't striving for high levels of recreational play. We are. Indeed, we see our goal as finding a 'sweet spot' that gives us all the physical and mental benefits pickleball offers.
Our fitness-focus also includes joining forces to help each of us find support - emotionally, educationally and socially - with the health challenges of our 'active aging' years now, and in the years to come.
If you are looking for authentic, warm connections in the pickleball universe (and you are likewise 'authentic' and 'warm'), we invite you! Yes, at times we will get competitive, but we will always put caring for each other first.
We are busy, with full lives. So full, in fact, that we're too often finding it difficult fitting pickleball in! But we really do want (and need) to improve our physical fitness and what we remember most are the the days when we couldn't wait to play because of how much fun playing pickleball was.
We recall, fondly, running around for two to three hours, losing all track of time or worry, having too much fun and yet getting the exercise and stress release we so needed!
We need to be more physically active, but we're not into gyms, Cross Fit or Peleton. We're devoted daughters, partners, spouses, moms, grandmothers, employees and business owners who need and desire to devote more time to ourselves and our pickleball.
Some of us are retired and, while we may have more time to play than we did when we worked, we haven't yet found a play group or program we continuously play with for a variety of reasons.
Maybe play is too clique-y in your area or you've been dealing with a recent surgery or other injury or chronic condition that has prevented you from playing as often or as intensely as you wish.
Sadly too, the cost of playing is increasing rapidly in many locations as well and this is a concern for real people with real budgets i.e.: us!
Unlike Facebook, our upgraded SWP software offers privacy and connection without distraction. No ads or that other dreaded word: algorithms. This new SWP offers a better method of finding each other and creating 'critical masses' of women in specific areas, so that we can get organized as a group and build our power to do what we want to do!
That's right: Just us, coming together in our own centralized, yet diversified spot to dream and create our best pickleball lives, as individuals, as locals and as a worldwide community!
Our amazing new platform will enable you to grow your connections with other like-minded SWP women for play, both in your home town as well as when you travel and/or attend both online and in person SWP events.
Our upgraded platform allows you to more easily be found, by leading you to create a rich, online profile and search for other players near and far. My vision is seeing hundreds and then perhaps thousands of us making high quality connections with each other, to find a variety of types and levels of support, resources and more.
Yes, it's time to evolve what I began (and we have so successfully nurtured) on our Facebook group. Now is the time to take SWP to the next level!!!
Imagine having a regular group of players you can call on for play at locations that are free/low cost.
Imagine having an online place to connect with other senior women who share one or more of the common challenges most if not all of us will face over time if you stick with your commitment to playing pickleball.
Imagine traveling together with a group of like-minded ladies to relax, gain some well deserved down time, play some pickleball and learn some new skills, hear inspirational speakers, etc.
Even better: imagine becoming a member and leading your local SWP play group. One of the benefits of being a founding member is the chance to be the first (or one of the first) in your local area to head up a SWP play group/chapter.
Imagine gathering online with members all over the U.S. and the world, for pep rallies and pep talks led by me, by other members and with guest experts!?! On a variety of topics and concerns of interest to the SWP community.
THE BOTTOM LINE OF WHAT MEMBERSHIP CAN OFFER YOU IS THIS: SWP is designed to help you become more focused on and more accountable to your fun, fitness and friendship goals, with and without pickleball.
It's all developing and beginning to happen here! But it can only happen when enough of us come together!
There is power in numbers and it's time we put our heads and hearts together to see what we can do for ourselves in the world of pickleball.
1. Register right away before founding member spots run out.
2. Get on the site and get interacting with the software and other members and connect with other senior women pickleball players, join a local play group and start to build a play group and see what else you can accomplish. You will love the new app trust me!
3. See you at our first 'members only' Pep Rally on Tuesday, June 28th, 2022, at 7p ET! Details will be found on member site. We'll be meeting together as a community and in planning committees to help focus our communities growth.
I look forward to making SWP memories with you! - Barb Elgin