Pickleball Improvement Project Bringing New Courts to McCook


Mike Roth, one of the Pickleball Improvement Project committee members, occasionally teaches an introduction to pickleball at the YMCA. He is pictured here, front left, with a group of recent class members.

June 16, 2022

One of McCook’s fasting growing sports is getting new courts. A Pickleball Improvement Project is moving forward at Russell Park. A local group of passionate pickleball players are leading the project. It includes expanding and resurfacing the current court to accommodate three full size pickleball courts and will include permanent netting, fencing and lighting.

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. The racket/paddle sport is played by players of all ages and has several health and social benefits including improved mood and mental health, calorie burn, balance, agility, reducing health risks, and opportunity to make new friendships.

McCook’s pickleball athletes regularly play at the Ed Thomas YMCA, but they have outgrown the space and time available. In March 2021, the pickleball group joined several wellness minded community leaders looking to improve community health by increasing availability to exercise opportunities in McCook. This started the Wellness McCook Initiative. Pickleball was one of four lead projects, including the pool, ballfields and walking trails. The Ed Thomas YMCA renovation and an inclusive playground project have also been added to the Wellness McCook Initiative.

The group researched opportunities and funding sources for additional courts. Ultimately, Russell Park was identified; a plan developed and fundraising started. The group has received pledges for more than $51,000 for the project, in addition to a $20,000 grant from the McCook Community Foundation Fund. Total project cost is estimated at $80,000 with a completion date of late summer.

Brian Michaelis, Mike Roth, Christy Stevens, Cathy Kenny and several others have stepped up to lead the Pickleball Improvement Project. They are available to answer questions and take donations toward the project. Community Hospital Health Foundation is assisting with the receipt and distribution of funds for the project. Contact Community Hospital Health Foundation at 308- 344-7222 for more information.

The Wellness McCook Initiative is an action plan of McCook’s Communities of Excellence program. Community Hospital is one of the leaders in the Communities of Excellence and Wellness McCook Initiative. The Wellness McCook Initiative continues to meet regularly to facilitate progress with these projects. Representation includes: City of McCook, Community Hospital, Community Hospital Health Foundation, Elevate Wellness, McCook Community College/ Mid Plains Community College, McCook Community Foundation Fund, McCook Pickleball Group, McCook Public Schools, and Ed Thomas YMCA.