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Pickleball Ambassador Seeks Weirton Council’s Support

Pickleball Ambassador Seeks Weirton Council’s Support: USA Pickleball ambassador Anthony Veltri, a passionate advocate for pickleball and native of Weirton, stood before the Weirton Council on Monday with a heartfelt plea. As an USA’s Pickleball Ambassador, Veltri raised concerns about the current state of pickleball facilities in Weirton. At Starvaggi Memorial Park, where makeshift pickleball courts have been carved out from aging tennis courts, Veltri highlighted significant issues: crack at the playing surface, posing potential safety risks to players.

Council Chambers: Dialogue and Divergence

In response to Veltri’s appeal, Ward 2 Councilman Chris Jonczak extended a practical and focused invitation to the pickleball association: devise a comprehensive plan and present it to the council for consideration. Jonczak emphasized the council’s willingness to engage but underscored the necessity for organized advocacy.

However, Ward 4 Councilman George Ash voiced reservations, asserting that matters of recreational infrastructure, such as pickleball courts, rightfully fall within the scope of the Park Board rather than council jurisdiction. Ash’s concerns centered on safety, advocating for immediate stop of play on compromised courts until remedial measures are implemented.

Pickleball Ambassador Seeks Weirton Council's Support
Anthony Veltri: USA Pickleball Ambassador

Park Board’s Structural Challenges and Forward Plans

Coty Shingle, the insightful Parks Executive Director, shed light on the underlying structural challenges plaguing the pickleball courts. The persistent issues stem from the original construction materials—primarily slag—which fail to provide a stable foundation, resulting in continual shifting and cracking of the playing surface despite repeated repair efforts.

Shingle affirmed ongoing deliberations within the Park Board regarding potential solutions. One promising proposal involves the establishment of dedicated pickleball courts at Marland Heights Park, potentially repurposing existing spaces, such as the current basketball courts. This strategic initiative forms part of a broader vision aimed at enhancing recreational amenities and addressing community needs across Weirton’s park system.

News in Brief: Pickleball Ambassador Seeks Weirton Council’s Support

Anthony Veltri’s advocacy for enhanced pickleball facilities in Weirton highlights broader community efforts to address recreational infrastructure needs. With current courts showing signs of wear and safety concerns, discussions between advocates like Veltri and local officials have become more extreme. While the Weirton Council considers the role of governance in recreational amenities, the Park Board grapples with persistent structural challenges at Starvaggi Memorial Park. The proposal to establish new courts at Marland Heights Park signals a proactive approach to enhancing recreational opportunities and community engagement in Weirton.



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