LPU-C and Asia Federation of Pickleball, Forging Synergy Towards a Sustainable Future

A Short Glimpse at the New Sport

Pickleball is a rapidly growing sport that is gaining tremendous popularity globally.

It is a paddle sport played by two or four players hitting a perforated hollow plastic ball over a 34-inch-high net until one side fails to return the ball or commits an infraction of the rule. It can be played indoors or outdoors. It was invented by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum in 1965 on Bainbridge Island in Washington.

The Pickleball court is 20 ft by 44 ft for singles and doubles, the same size as a badminton court. It utilizes side-out scoring wherein only the serving player or team may get a score. The first side scoring 11 points and leading by at least 2 points wins.

The Growth of Pickleball in LPU-C

It was in November 2021, when the fastest growing sport of Pickleball touched down the 1st and only resort campus in the Philippines through a skills demonstration clinic organized by the Center for Sports Development which was participated in by P.E. Instructors and Coaches.

From then on, the growth of Pickleball in LPU Cavite rapidly progresses in different forms like the founding of the 1st ever sports club in the university which is the LPU-C Pickleball Without Borders in July 2022 and the inclusion of Pickleball as an innovative sport offering in the Tertiary P.E. Program under the new PATHFIT curriculum.

These developments paved the way for more innovations and initiatives like the 1st Pickleball Tournament, held on January 5 – 6, 2023, which was participated by around 50 players and the launching of Pickleball as one of the sports during the LPU-C Games 2023 which was held on April 25 – 29, 2023.

As a growing number of students learn and enjoy the new sport, another clinic was held on May 2, 2023, which was focused on introducing more advanced skills, tactics, and strategies of the game. It was followed by the launching of Pickleball Open Plays on May 16, 2023, which gave the players more opportunities to play the sport and compete outside of PE classes.

Finally, to benchmark and learn from the best Pickleball players in the southern part of the country, LPU-C Pickleball Without Borders went to Cebu and participated in the Cebu Open Pickleball Tournament in July 2023. These activities continued and more students learn the sport and found themselves a new recreational activity that they believe will also benefit their overall health and well-being.

Forging Partnership Through Pickleball

The Asia Federation of Pickleball (AFP) is a non-profit organization which aims to promote the growth and development of Pickleball around Asia. It has several types of membership such as associate, affiliate, ordinary, club, alliance, and APUN (Asia Pickleball University Network). It is recognized by the International Pickleball Federation (IPF), the international governing body of Pickleball.

The Asia Pickleball University Network (APUN) is dedicated to advancing university sports in Asia. Its founding members include Taiwan Asia University, Japan Mimasaka University, and Indonesia University Negeri Jakarta.

LPU-C community is honored and exultant being recognized as the first member university of APUN in the Philippines and the first to be recognized by Asia Federation of Pickleball. This partnership will provide many opportunities to collaborate, learn, and share best practices with other Asian countries in shaping the next generation of leaders through sports.

Pickleball, More Than Just Another Sport

LPU-C recognizes the power of sports that extends far beyond athletic competition and play significant roles in attaining the UN sustainable development goals.

It was in the year 2021 when the sports and wellness program of LPU-C which was dubbed as Let’s R I S E, Lyceans! Rebuild Resilience through Sports and Exercise was launched through the Center for Sports Development (formerly Athletics Department). It was LPU-Cs proactive response to battle the detrimental effects of COVID-19 particularly to the physical and mental health of students and employees during the pandemic period.

Various programs were implemented such as the Be Active campaigns, virtual exercise, and fitness sessions such as Zumba and SIPA as well as the introduction of the new sport of Pickleball, which is a non-contact sport that can be safely played by employees during that period. (SDG 3)

Recognizing the essential role of sports to counteract the global increase in physical inactivity and its detrimental effects on health, this year, a new set of sports and wellness programs will be launched and implemented by the Center for Sports Development which is aimed to support the overall wellbeing of students and employees towards building a healthy, resilient and physically active LPU-C community. Among the many different activities will include the promotion of Pickleball not only within the university but around the province of Cavite as well.

With the emerging global popularity of Pickleball, our students have found a new sport that they can easily learn and play while maintaining overall health and wellness. And as they enjoy playing Pickleball, they also learn valuable life skills such as teamwork, leadership, communication, and problem-solving, all crucial for their academic success and future careers. (SDG 4)

Inspired by the ideals of our founder Jose P. Laurel, LPU-C will continue its commitment to shaping strong and responsible citizens through sports development, as they learn differently, live differently. As one STRONG community, LPU-C will always take the lead.