Pickleball National Championships take over Bolton Arena

Pickleball – the unusually named sport holding its National Championships is at Bolton Arena, It’s similar to tennis and badminton and has been sweeping the USA and Europe over the last couple of years and rapidly growing in popularity throughout the UK.

The sport is played by two or four players, using paddles and a perforated polymer ball, similar to an oversized practice golf ball. It can be played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court, or you can fit three to four pickleball courts on a tennis court.

Between August 12 and 15, the first ever ‘Pickleball England’ Nationals Tournament was held at Bolton Arena, on 28 newly taped out pickleball courts.

Head of Sport at Bolton Arena Stuart Kay said “Firstly it’s been fantastic to hold our first large sporting event since we came out of lockdown, to see the facility in full use and a hive of activity is great to see. We have the perfect venue for this type of event with a large Racquet sport facility and great road links, it’s been a pleasure working with Pickleball England delivering a COVID secure event and look forward to hosting future events and supporting the growth of Pickleball ” 

Karen Mitchell, National Director, Pickleball England said “Bolton Arena was the perfect venue for our inaugural English Nationals pickleball tournament.  Great court surface and facilities situated beside hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments.  With easy road and rail access, our players fed back that they loved the venue. We will seriously consider coming back again for future events”. 

Bolton Arena is adjacent to one of Europe’s largest retail parks, Middlebrook and is celebrating its 20-year anniversary of building, active, and healthy community in Bolton.

More than 1.2 million visitors are welcomed through the doors every year to use the excellent facilities at Bolton’s best loved sporting, events, and entertainment venue.

The Arena has been the venue for some iconic events over the past 20 years from hosting Commonwealth Games tournaments in 2002, the Davis Cup and memorable world title boxing events. In recent years, the Arena has played host to more diverse events including Business Expos, Wedding Shows and Outdoor concerts

Bringing high profile events is only one part of the Arena’s strategic focus, as an important hub for the community the Arena is invaluable to schools and disability groups. With sporting clubs ranging from badminton, bowls, athletics and cycling, the Arena is a beacon of sport for all.
Bolton Arena is a registered charity with all profits re-invested into the facility and local communities to improve health and wellbeing and access to sport.