Stevenage Pickleball Club has seen a 35 per cent rise in membership following its launch event.

The event took place at Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre and attracted over 60 visitors, with 25 attendees signing up as new members.

The club began as a simple gathering of pickleball enthusiasts three months ago, but is now a flourishing sports group complete with team matches and quadruple the number of social sessions weekly.

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Bryan Clare, the club chairman, and Christine Neyndorff, regional director for Pickleball England, were key attendees at the event.

Councillor Jim Brown, the Mayor of Stevenage, and representatives of The Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership also made appearances.

The sport - similar to tennis and table tennis - now caters to both senior and younger players.

Kirsty Jones, area contract activity and wellbeing manager for Everyone Active across Stevenage, said: "It’s been so exciting to see an accessible, fun, sociable sport like pickleball expand in our district and beyond, as we see people of all ages and levels of fitness have a go."

Stevenage Pickleball Club hosts two-hour social play sessions at the Leisure Centre on Mondays at 11.30am, Wednesdays at 9.30am and Thursdays and Fridays at 3.30pm.