Several years ago a local resident, Morris Wheat, introduced a game called “pickleball” to Warrenton, Va.; he subsequently became the pickleball “Ambassador-at-Large” to Fauquier County. Morris single-handedly recruited, cajoled and encouraged adults in this area to get out on the tennis courts and hit a whiffle ball with a special paddle. A number of these individuals had been fervent tennis or racketball players, but they found that these sports were becoming a bit more demanding now that they were older. Enter Pickleball! Today the game encompasses both young and old and is growing exponentially across Fauquier County and the globe.
Soon Morris had a group of dedicated men and women helping him spread the word. Many of these founding members still are playing in Fauquier county and surrounding communities.
The group started playing locally around 2007 on the tennis courts at Auburn Middle School on Riley Road, with Morris and associates getting on hands and knees to chalk lines for pickleball. Now, thanks to the support of the Fauquier County Parks and Recreation Department, three courts have been painted with lines for pickleball at Auburn school outdoor courts – as well as three indoor courts at Vint Hill community center. Improvements at the Vint Hill community center continue as the parks and recreation department works with FCPA to develop better venues for pickleball players.