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Pickleball Returns to National Mall, Celebrates Intergenerational Play

Pickleball Returns to National Mall: The Trust for the National Mall, Humana (NYSE: HUM), and the Humana Foundation have announced the return of the National Mall of Pickleball. This year’s event, taking place from September 27 to 29, 2024, will feature two additional courts and the D.C. Pickleball Team’s (DCPT) latest roster, including Dekel Bar, Rachel Rohrabacher, James Ignatowich, and Allyce Jones. The event, themed “One for the Ages,” will be held on eleven temporary courts at the JFK Hockey Fields, celebrating the multi-generational appeal of pickleball.

Pickleball continues to top recent trends in sports participation. According to the 2023 Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) Topline Participation Report, it remains the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. for the third consecutive year. SFIA’s 2022 report reveals that nearly half of all regular pickleball players are over the age of 55, with the other half comprising players aged 6 to 54. This balance highlights pickleball’s unique ability to bridge generational divides and foster connections on the court.

Last September, we demonstrated the power of one of our country’s most treasured places—the National Mall—as a gathering place for all when we brought America’s fastest-growing sport of pickleball to it,” said Bruce Broussard, CEO of Humana. “As we planned for this year’s event, we reflected on this iconic space and what it represents. It seems fitting to celebrate and honor a dynamic that is both natural to the pickleball world and also one of the National Mall’s greatest legacies—creating experiences for people to live healthy and active lifestyles and make social connections across generations. We hope the second annual National Mall of Pickleball will inspire everyone, picklers or not, to form and nurture their own relationships for the benefit of themselves and our society.

To showcase the power of intergenerational relationships, the Trust is launching the Search for the Ultimate Pickleball Duos. Over the next eight weeks, pairs of picklers from different generations can submit their stories, highlighting the role pickleball has played in their relationships. Six duos will be chosen to play on Center Court at the 2024 National Mall of Pickleball, with winners announced on August 8, 2024, National Pickleball Day.

“We are thrilled to host the second annual National Mall of Pickleball and once again welcome thousands of picklers and fans to the National Mall,” said Catherine Townsend, President and CEO of the Trust for the National Mall. “There’s no better way, and no better place to celebrate pickleball and the importance of connection across generations than the National Mall. We welcome all to come experience this unique event and find out ways to give back to support our work to restore, preserve and enrich this treasured American space for generations to come.

Pickleball Returns to National Mall (1)

The National Mall has been a gathering place for over 100 years, symbolizing American democracy and serving as a space for all to play, learn, and connect. The Trust for the National Mall, in partnership with Humana and the Humana Foundation, aims to raise awareness about the importance of preserving this historic space and building connections across generations.

This year’s free, three-day event will feature on-site pickleball lessons and clinics with professional players, opportunities for walk-on play, advance court sign-ups, dynamic programming, and a DCPT showcase. Participants and spectators will be encouraged to donate or start fundraisers to support the Trust for the National Mall’s preservation efforts.

News in Brief: Pickleball Returns to National Mall

The Trust for the National Mall, Humana, and the Humana Foundation announce the return of the National Mall of Pickleball from September 27 to 29, 2024. This year’s event at JFK Hockey Fields will feature expanded facilities and the D.C. Pickleball Team’s latest lineup. Themed “One for the Ages,” the event celebrates pickleball’s intergenerational appeal and status as America’s fastest-growing sport. The initiative includes a contest to showcase intergenerational relationships through pickleball. Activities will include lessons, clinics, and fundraising efforts to support the National Mall’s preservation.

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