Mexico residents are taking to the court to play pickleball. Pickleball is a racquet sport that combines elements of badminton tennis and table tennis. Unlike tennis in which players use stringed rackets, pickleball players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a wiffle ball over a net. The court is smaller than a tennis court but the rules are similar.

Area pickleball enthusiasts are taking advantage of the two new courts which are part of the Netplex in Fairgrounds Park.

On Wednesday both courts were being used by eight women in two friendly games of the sport. Over the weekend, the courts were also busy with both men and women playing.

Lori Brandow, executive director of the Mexico Area YMCA, said the popular sport, is not only fun, but is good exercise and is for everyone.

"One of the great things about pickleball is that it is for all ages. Over the summer we watched seniors playing doubles with some of the young teens in the building. It is great to see that each generation can learn things from the other," Brandow said.

Brandow said physical activity is essential in living a healthy lifestyle and one of the advantages of pickleball is the exercise it provides. "Playing pickleball regularly helps you stay fit and healthy, which in turn gives you more energy to go about your daily routines," she said.

One of the factors that many people do not think about is the social aspect of group exercise. "Being part of a regular exercise group is great for our spiritual health as well as serving as motivation to continue with a regular routine of exercise. There are several groups that meet at specific times each week to play pickleball. They have created a sense of community within their group," Brandow stated.

No matter what the reason, fun or exercise, indoors or outside, the pickleball courts are busy on a regular basis.