Pickleball Club Member’s Generosity Reaches the Dominican Republic

Paddles a plenty! Thank you, Robson Ranch Denton Pickleball Club members, from Santiago Christian School in the Dominican Republic!

Mary Ann Bane

It warms my Pickleball Club member heart to share this story with you. It is a story of initiative and generosity. It started with Rod and Monica Daake. Their daughter, Jennifer, and their son-in-law, Chris, are administrators at the Santiago Christian School in the Dominican Republic. The school has over 600 students, grades K-12.

Like all schools around the world, they were dealing with the effects of educating students amidst a global pandemic. Remote learning was typical and normal indoor physical activities were virtually non-existent. Mere months ago, pickleball was not part of their vocabulary. But that is changing in a hurry!

Rod and Monica, together with Jennifer and Chris are introducing pickleball to the students of Santiago Christian School. Rod and Monica thought they could gather up at least four paddles and a couple balls to donate. Rod put out a request to his fellow players and generosity took over! “We were hoping for four paddles to get them started. Within two days, the “A” players had donated 28 paddles! They also donated sweat bands and pickleballs.”

Here is more that the Daakes shared with me that I thought you would enjoy!

Question: How did you get the equipment to the school?

Response: “They (referring to their daughter and son-in-law) packed the equipment in an oversized suitcase to transport it.”

Question: What type of court(s) do they use at the school?

Response: “They have a large open-air gym area with a roof. They have taped off two courts. The courts are used by middle school and high school students. The courts were also used as part of the staff development for new teachers. In past years, on Sunday afternoons, school board members, staff members, and their families gathered for soccer Sundays. Now they gather for pickleball Sundays.”

Question: Would you briefly describe the rules the students have been under related to COVID-19?

Response: “They have not been in school for a year and a half. They have been able to go to school an hour a week for social interaction, outside and masked. The city of Santiago is under curfew. They cannot be on the streets after 5 p.m. weekdays and noon on Sundays. Children have been extremely isolated, unable to enjoy few forms of physical fitness.”

Question: Would you briefly describe the reactions/feedback that parents/teachers/administrators have given in regard to playing pickleball?

Response: “School starts this week so a limited number of students, teachers, and administrators have participated. The goal is to incorporate pickleball into the middle school/high school physical education curriculum. Ultimately, they hope to introduce it to the students’ families. Those who have had a chance to try it have been extremely enthused about this new sport.”

I didn’t even have to ask a question to get the following added comment of appreciation to the club.

“We know that Robson Ranch Pickleballers are good people. However, the generosity displayed by our club was humbling and a special blessing to a Christian School in the Dominican Republic.”

If you’d like to know more about our club, how to join, etc., please visit our club website at rrdpc.comhttp://rrdpc.com.