SUCCESS might be hard to come by for England’s footballers this summer, but the UK’s pickleball players already have something to toast.
The Oxfordshire-based pickleball team flew to Amsterdam last week to take part in a world championship competition.
Now they have returned to the country with five bronze medals in a number of different categories.
Pickleball is a racquet sport which was created in the USA in 1965, combining tennis, badminton and table tennis.
Abingdon resident Gill Smith, who won bronze in the mixed doubles, is a 77-year-old former teacher.
She said: “It went really well for us – it was wonderful.
“Representing our country was fantastic. It was one of the best occasions of my life. I feel so proud.
“We took a Union Jack with us and draped it around us when we won.
“Next year if we are fit enough we will do it again.”
The Oxfordshire Pickleball Club is believed to be the only such club in England.
It was formed in 2011 by Kidlington residents Maureen and Ian Wilson who first encountered the game while visiting Florida.
The tournament in Amsterdam featured teams representing the USA, Spain, France, Canada and India.
Brian Hook, who also won bronze in the mixed doubles, said: “There was a good atmosphere and all the games were played in a respectful manner.
“We had a lovely time there.”
Bronze medals were also won by Frances Bird and Alison Eastgate in the ladies doubles and by Ian Wilson in the mens doubles.
Pickleball was introduced to the county with the help of Oxfordshire Sports Partnership’s Go Active team because the racquets are not sold in the UK.
There is a pickleball group in Scotland, but this was not represented at the recent world championships.
People can attend practice sessions at Kidlington and Gosford Leisure Centre on Fridays, between 7.30pm and 9pm, or at the White Horse Leisure Centre in Abingdon, on Tuesdays, between 2pm and 3pm.
Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org
8:30am Tuesday 1st September 2015
A WOMAN who was attacked and raped while out jogging is preparing for a tough challenge – raising cash for the centre that helped to rebuild her life.
10:25am Tuesday 1st September 2015
A TEENAGE motorcyclist was taken to hospital after being involved in a crash with a van.
9:00am Tuesday 1st September 2015
A DAREDEVIL granny has jumped from a plane to raise more than £15,000 to help sick children.
8:00am Tuesday 1st September 2015
A NEW Arabic school set to bring youngsters of all faiths together is aiming to be the top Sunday school of its kind in the country.
7:00am Tuesday 1st September 2015
AT LEAST 40 people marched through the rain on Bank Holiday Monday to protest against Oxford City Council’s plans to take over the running of East Oxford Community Centre.
6:30am Tuesday 1st September 2015
BUSINESS is on the rise for a former helicopter pilot instructor whose company teaches people how to fly drones safely.
6:00am Tuesday 1st September 2015
WILD Oxfordshire is heading a campaign to collect 1,000 water samples from the Thames River Basin to help protect water quality.
8:30am Monday 31st August 2015
A VAST digital network linking Oxford’s roads, streetlights, shops and car parks could transform city life, a UK internet chief said.
8:20am Monday 31st August 2015
A STRIKE will continue to disrupt train services in Oxfordshire today.
8:00am Monday 31st August 2015
A FAMILY was left outraged after an 11-year-old boy was told he would have to travel alone in a car driven by a bus driver for part of his journey to school.
8:30am Saturday 29th August 2015
A TOP transplant surgeon has backed the Oxford Mail organ donation campaign saying more donors are needed than ever before.
9:00am Saturday 29th August 2015
A RAPIST who disappeared before his trial to escape justice is believed to have had a second passport he could have used to flee the country.
8:00am Saturday 29th August 2015
MOVING tributes were paid to Carole Roberts yesterday at the former Lord Mayor of Oxford’s funeral.
7:00am Saturday 29th August 2015
Seven men have appeared in court accused of a catalogue of sex offences.