Ipoh Enjoyed Its First Pickleball Carnival

KT Leong

Ipoh’s first Pickleball Carnival was held last Saturday, bringing Pickleball together at the Jabatan Belia dan Sukan facilities, nearby Perak Stadium. The event, which took place from 8 am to 12 pm, attracted 40 participants.

The event was jointly organised by the newly formed Perak Pickleball Association and Ipohbug, a non-profit organisation that has been actively promoting sports in and beyond Ipoh for the past 16 years.

Pickleball was first introduced to Ipoh in August 2023 by the founder of Ipohbug, Mr. William Chang, who experienced the game while he was in the US for a conference. He saw the enthusiasm for the game amongst the young and the old and decided to bring the game back home to Ipoh.

“Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. People really seem to enjoy the game and for that reason, I decided to include it as part of our Ipohbug program for the community”, he said.

The game already enjoys a healthy and dedicated following in Selangor, KL, Sarawak and Penang; championed by state level associations and clubs.

Played on a badminton court with a paddle similar to a table tennis bat, albeit larger in size and a plastic ball, players hit the ball back and forth across the net like a game of tennis.

“It’s a real easy game to pick up, even people with little racquet game experience can pick up the game fairly easily, thus its popularity,” said Rita Thong, spokesperson and committee member of Perak Pickleball Association.

“There are already a few groups playing Pickleball in Ipoh at various locations, and we will be working with various state authorities to introduce the game to the general public as well as to the schools” she adds.

According to “Takada”, another local enthusiast, “Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Malaysia is just beginning. Here in Ipoh, our youngest player is 12, our oldest 76. We have 70 year old ladies who have little to no racket games experience and they come, try the game and pick it up”

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