A member of the North Carolina House of Representatives has proposed a bill that would allocate $10,112 from the general fund to NC State University’s College of Natural Resources in order to promote diversity in the game of Pickleball.
The bill, H.B. 1073, seeks to fund a pilot program to use the sport of Pickleball as an avenue for competition between various multicultural and socioeconomic groups in the Wake County area, stating that Pickleball was chosen because of its ease of play and low cost of entry.
Sponsored by Rep. James Roberson, D-Wake, the bill language requires that program directors have “at least two focus groups conducted to gain insight into how to best create and promote the program and to increase diversity among pickleball participants.”
The bill has been criticized and joked about on Twitter.
The bill also funds work to create a brand for marketing the program using social media, websites, direct mail, and possibly community partners. Once the program is created, the bill directs that four week sessions in fall 2022 and spring of 2023 are held at the recreation centers on Method Road and Chavis Park.
The bill states that, if successful, the program will provide “a variety of public health benefits including physical activity, social and community connections, and psychological well-being.” The program would face a post-program evaluation to potentially create a toolkit for similar programs.