The Transylvania County Recreation Department will host a pickleball clinic and a pickleball open in memory of Jack Plunkert who passed away in June 2022.

A talented athlete, Plunkert participated in numerous competitive sports in his younger days — swimming, boxing, basketball, baseball and football—but decided he wanted to play pickleball just to have fun when he was introduced to this fast-growing sport. Although he always liked to win, he never minded playing with the newbie players, reassuring them and providing tips.

As the number of players outgrew the space provided by the indoor courts at the recreation center, he successfully spearheaded a movement to get four public outdoor pickleball courts constructed in Brevard.

To continue his legacy of encouraging novices, the clinic will focus on beginners. It will take place in the Transylvania County Recreation Center gym on April 1, and will be divided into two sessions. The first session, from 9 to 10:30 a.m., is designed for true beginners including those who may have never even held a paddle in their hands. The second session, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will target advanced beginners who want to learn more about the rules and strategies of the game. Both sessions will be led by Coach John Jessen with the help of volunteers from the pickleball community. Weather permitting, outside play will follow each session aided by volunteer coaches.

The Jack Plunkert Memorial Pickleball Open will take place on the outdoor courts on April 15 with April 22nd set aside as a rain date. The emphasis will be on having fun and is open to all skill levels. The matches will be doubles only — mixed, men’s and women’s. Participants can register with a partner or individually and each team is guaranteed to play a minimum of five games. All players will receive a commemorative T-shirt and light refreshments will be provided.

Preregistration is required for both the pickleball clinic and the open, and each has a cap on the number of participants allowed due to space and staff limitations. The fee for either clinic session is $2 and the registration fee for the pickleball open is $20 per player.

For more information or to register for either a clinic session or the open, visit or call (828) 884-3156.

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