EUROPE'S number one lady pickleball player has grown quite attached to the Isle of Wight after she stayed for another weekend of coaching growing numbers of local people taking up the sport.

Thaddea Lock, also England's number one, returned to the West Wight Sports and Community Centre last weekend, to carry out an intensive coaching course for 32 pickleball players.

The pickleball star ran two packed days of coaching sessions in Freshwater, following similar, fully subscribed to events run in April last year and in December 2022.

The event was organised by Simon Proffitt, who introduced the curiously named sport during the pandemic.

Several players from the Island have already gone on to compete in mainland tournaments and have won medals.

"The number of people playing pickleball on the Island continues to grow, with the playing level getting higher and higher," said Thaddea.

"I can’t wait to see some of these players coming to play more on the mainland!"

Sessions are held regularly at the Freshwater community facility.

As a result of having pickleball sessions, with more players attracted to the sport, the sports centre has been benefiting from getting much more use.

"The centre continues to be one of the most friendly and accessible places to play pickleball in the UK," Thaddea added.

Pickleball, for those who have never heard of it, or know nothing of the highly popular American phenomenon, is a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis.

Two or four players use solid paddles made of wood, or composite materials, to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a ‘wiffle’ ball, over a net. 

“A big thank you to Simon for another fantastic weekend of coaching for me to deliver on the Isle of Wight," continued Thaddea.

"I can’t wait to come back!"