Dee Vincent – Ambassador from Hot Springs Village, Arkansas

 

My husband and I have gone to Happy Trails in Surprise, Arizona during winters for several years.   That's where I learned play and love pickleball.   I decided there was no way I could only play during my three months in AZ each year, and when we returned from Arizon in 2006 I took my paddle and a ball into our community recreation committee meeting and explained how the game was played and that pickleball would benefit Hot Springs Village. I stated that everyone did not play golf or tennis, yet wanted to have a fun way to exercise and this could fill the bill.   

 

The committee asked how many Villagers I thought would be interested and my response was that training and demonstrations would be established and a report would be made available to them at their next meeting.   A reporter from the Hot Springs ‘Village Voice’, who was covering the meeting, published details about pickleball and the upcoming training and demonstrations in the newspaper. The response was very good.

 

At the next monthly committee meeting charts showing the number of people attending the classes and their expression of interest was presented.   With that report they determined that three tennis courts would have pickleball courts painted on them.    In September of 2008, one of the courts was converted into four pickleball courts, and currently we have well over 100 players, and they are a great, fun-loving group.  Most of our people are seniors and we have several people in their 80s that are very active.   Our Village covers a 26,000 acre area and our people are quite spread out, but we continue to grow. 

 

When our club had only played a couple of months we entered the Arkansas Senior Olympics and brought home some first place ribbons.  We have played in each of the Olympics since then and hosted the Olympics in September this year.

 

I had never been very athletic, but I am so delighted to have learned to play pickleball and thrilled to have had the opportunity to present pickleball to Hot Springs Village and see so many people become so passionate about the game.  

 

My husband Joe and I moved to Hot Springs Village in July of 2001 after retirement.   I retired from a Division of Cox Enterprises, as the National Sales Director in the transportation field.   My work allowed me to travel throughout the US and enjoy lots of excitement not usually associated with work, like driving a race car at Bondurant Racing School in Phoenix, going to grand prix races, banquets sponsored by General Motors,etc.  So needless to say, when I retired I needed new excitement and that has been found in pickleball and travels with my husband.   My husband is retired from the Air Force and worked for Bell South.   

 

 We have a married son that lives in the Dallas area, and a married daughter living near Columbia, Missouri, and we have five grandchildren.