Pickleball ~ Ipoh’s Rise in the World of Racket Sports

By Anne Das

Enthusiasm for pickleball in Ipoh is reaching new heights, mirroring the sport’s global surge in popularity. With at least five active groups playing across various venues in Ipoh, the city is buzzing with pickleball action.

Schools are also catching onto the trend, with demonstrations held at local and international schools garnering interest. Even established recreational clubs in Ipoh are now promoting pickleball to their members, signalling a seismic shift in the city’s sporting landscape

Pickleball enthusiasts in Ipoh gather for a spirited match, reflecting the growing popularity of the sport in the city.

Pickleball, a dynamic fusion of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, has captured the hearts of Malaysians, particularly in Ipoh, where recent successes at the World Pickleball Championship Series (WPC Series) Asia Pacific have ignited a newfound fervour for the sport.

The WPC Series Asia Pacific, featuring 12 tournaments spanning the region, serves as a platform for players of all levels to showcase their skills. In the recent Vietnam leg hosted at the Carmelina Resort, Malaysian players left an indelible mark, demonstrating their prowess on the international stage.

Rita and Wai Li doing Malaysia proud by taking the silver medal for their category in WPC Asia Pacific Vietnam

 One such standout is Mr. Liew Kim Tu, fondly known as Kim, whose journey from ex-national footballer to pickleball silver medallist is as remarkable as it is inspiring. Despite discovering the sport just three months ago during a casual session with his wife at an IPOHBUG Pickleball event, Kim’s natural talent shone through, earning him a silver medal in the Men’s Singles 50+ category.

Joining Kim in the winner’s circle is Ms. Rita Thong, treasurer of the Perak Pickleball Association, whose partnership with Ms. Choong Wai Li, Secretary of the Kuala Lumpur Pickleball Association, secured a silver medal in the Women’s Doubles 50+ category. Their achievements not only underscore the collaborative spirit within the Malaysian pickleball community but also highlight the inclusive nature of the sport.

IPOHBUG organises games throughout the week, including ladies only sessions providing ample opportunities for players to hone their skills and connect with fellow enthusiasts.

William Chang, head of IPOHBUG and President of the Perak Pickleball Association, expressed pride in the accomplishments of Kim and Rita, emphasising pickleball’s ability to bring people together and promote physical activity and mental well-being.

“Pickleball transcends age and background, providing a platform for individuals to connect and thrive,” Chang remarked. “We hope Kim and Rita’s success will inspire more Malaysians to embrace this wonderful sport and experience its many benefits.”

Pickleball is being shared to schools in Ipoh.

As pickleball’s appeal continues to soar, fuelled by the passion and dedication of players in Ipoh and beyond, the sport promises to carve an enduring legacy of inclusivity, camaraderie, and excellence.

Perak’s pickleball players contribute to a thriving community, paving the way for an exciting future! Join in the game and experience the excitement firsthand!

For more information, reach out to IPOHBUG / Perak Pickleball Association at IPOHBUG Pickleball Facebook page or 01126681234.

Pickleball offers a dynamic blend of athleticism and strategy, attracting players of all ages and backgrounds to the courts for exhilarating matches.
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