Mayor Issues Pickleball Challenge to KMLE Country’s Morning Show Team

I thought you all might enjoy this story about my upcoming pickleball challenge to Steve and Nina of KMLE Country’s Morning Show, in their quest to obtain the key to our city!


Mayor Wolcott Issues Pickleball Challenge to KMLE Country’s Morning Show Team

That’s right:  “PICKLE” and “BALL.”

The new sport with a funny name will take center stage at the Surprise Pickleball Court at 11 a.m. Monday, May 19 when Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott and her playing partner face off against Steve and Nina, the morning show duo at Phoenix radio station KMLE Country.

Steve is new to Arizona and longer-time Zonie Nina D is helping him get to know the place. They have been stopping in on communities around the Valley looking for ways to earn a “key to the city.”

“We don’t have a key, but we’ve made the world’s largest City of Surprise ID badge, customized for Steve and Nina,” says Wolcott.  “But….they will have to earn it.”

Surprise is the “Pickleball Capital of Arizona,” and pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States. Nearly 45 new pickleball courts are opening every month to keep up with demand.

“How to describe Pickleball? “Imagine playing tennis with a giant pingpong paddle and a whiffle ball and….oh, never mind,” Wolcott said.

But that’s actually a very good description. The game is not as fast as tennis. The oversize pingpong-style paddles, larger plastic ball and smaller court make it easier to play. “It’s the kind of game we might have made up when we were kids,” Wolcott said. “It’s a lot of fun, it’s easy, it’s great exercise and you can start playing right away.”

“Some people are intimidated by tennis,” she added. “But it’s hard to be intimidated by a big whiffle ball.”

The radio hosts have already received “keys” from the mayors of Tempe, Mesa, Buckeye and Florence, but their biggest challenge will come at what Mayor Wolcott is calling “The Showdown at Surprise.”

The match will be played at Community Park, located at 15930 N. Bullard Avenue in Surprise.

Oh, by the way, Steven and Nina must win the match in order to win the giant ID badge. “I know they are going to want to frame it for display back at the station,” Wolcott said. “They’ll be ready.”