A whole new ball game as Lucy aims to be inaugural champion

Last summer Lucy Elliot was competing for Scotland in the Commonwealth Games at table tennis – now she is aiming to become national champion in a completely different sport.
Lucy Elliott in action at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (pic: © Craig Watson)Lucy Elliott in action at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (pic: © Craig Watson)
Lucy Elliott in action at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (pic: © Craig Watson)

The inaugural Scottish National Pickleball Championships are taking place from June 2-4 at the Allander Leisure Centre, as the new facility has been built with courts lined purposely lined for the sport.

Pickleball is similar to, table tennis, tennis and badminton and sees players hit a perforated hollow polymer ball over a 36-inch-high net using solid-faced paddles.

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Having traded in her table tennis bat for a pickleball paddle and recently won a number of open tournaments in doubles, Elliot wants to become the sport’s first Scottish champion.

The 24-year-old said: “I was eight when I first started playing table tennis, and had also played a bit of tennis, so when Anne Smillie suggested trying pickleball I was keen to give a go, that was last April and I’ve been playing ever since.

"I picked it up fairly quickly, it is a lot slower than table tennis, so for anyone looking to pick up a ‘racquet’ sport it is definitely a good place to start.

"I’m delighted to be playing in the first national championships next month in the singles, doubles and mixed doubles, and with my background I would certainly love to be in the mix to be crowned champion.”

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The national championship will also include masters and wheelchair events, with 140 players, including Scots now living in Australia, the USA, Canada and England, signed up to compete and estate agents Pacitti Jones on board as the main sponsor.

Elliot said: “It is wonderful to see how quickly the sport has grown in such a short space of time and if the success of this competition can lead to the formation of a national team then I’d certainly love to be a part of it.

"Who knows, maybe one day I can also represent Scotland in the Commonwealth Games at pickleball.”