Officials with the city of Red Bank would like to invite the public to a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly converted Pickleball Courts. The courts are at the Red Bank Tennis Courts in front of the Kids Corner Playground on 3899 Redding Road. The ceremony will be held on Monday, May 16, beginning at 1 p.m.
Red Bank resident Wade Cook will be conducting the ribbon cutting. Mr. Cook first contacted the city of Red Bank about four years ago and asked if some of the tennis courts could be converted into pickleball courts. At that time, not a single person from the city staff had ever heard of pickleball. Once the staff began researching the sport, they found that pickleball was a fairly new phenomenon in the sporting world and was gaining popularity across the entire country.
Budget constraints coupled with the lack of knowledge about the sport itself caused the city staff to hesitate in proceeding with the next steps. Mr. Cook soon became a familiar name associated with pickleball and it was his suggestion that the city paint additional striping on three tennis courts so they could be used for tennis as well as pickleball. Over the next two years, increased interest in pickleball and the increased use of the striped tennis courts for pickleball caught the attention of the City Commission. In the winter of 2021, the Commission decided to include money in the 2022 budget for the total conversion of one tennis court into three pickleball courts.
The City of Red Bank hired Sport Rite, Inc. a company based in Tullahoma, Tn., to make the conversion at an approximate cost of $16,000. Sport Rite had experience with pickleball courts and their high level of knowledge was evident through the request for proposals process and in discussions with the city of Red Bank Public Works Department.
In a recent City Commission meeting, Mr. Cook was asked to speak to the commission as the resolution was presented to authorize the expenses for the conversion. There were many grateful comments made once the City Commission passed the resolution. When asked if he would be available and willing to make the ribbon cutting, Mr. Cook replied, "Wow! This is going to be a special day! I'd be honored to cut the ribbon. Maybe we can save it for the next set of courts. Thanks to all who made this possible. It's really going to be a great addition to our community."