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In a pickle—pickleball, that is

Maris Grove spearheading area sport

Created date

August 21st, 2012

I retired early from teaching so I could play, says Betty Allcorn. Moving to Maris Grove has let me play even more. She and her husband Bob left their home ownership chores behind when they moved from a three-story town house in New Castle County, Del., to Erickson Living s community in Glen Mills, Pa. It s a carefree lifestyle here, Betty says. And it s secure. When they leave next month for a two-week cruise on the Elbe River, they ll simply lock their door and tell the front desk when they ll return. They won t even drive to the airport; Maris Grove s taxi service will take them to and from. It s to-your-door service, says Betty. Besides their joint vacations, Betty also travels solo and has peace of mind that Bob is happy, comfortable, and most likely playing poker with his Maris Grove neighbors.

A game for everyone

Betty s passion for travel matches her passion for physical activity. Last October, after friends introduced her to pickleball, she brought the game to Maris Grove. Played with paddles and a Wiffle ball, it s a cross between badminton, ping-pong, and tennis, but less physically demanding. It s wildly popular, an ideal blend of gentle exercise and between-game chitchat. Even people with no athletic background have taken it up. Residents of surrounding over-55 communities and some from Delaware regularly join Maris Grove s players for as many as four games a week year-round. They play outside on Saturdays at Maris Grove and on weekdays in nearby Kevin O Donoghue Fieldhouse. Pickleball is making its way east, and Maris Grove is at the forefront of spearheading it in our area, Betty says. The area s official pickleball contact, Betty also ran the pickleball tournament at this year s Delaware County Senior Games, where she and Alva Holcombe won gold in the sport. Maris Grove residents earned medals in several other sports, too, including Betty s in swimming and Alva s in basketball.

Choices that suit her lifestyle

Besides pickleball, Betty plays bocce, subs with the campus square dancers, tends her garden, and belongs to two photography clubs. But now she s focusing on training for the 2013 National Senior Games, where she ll compete in badminton she s swimming laps in Maris Grove s all-season aquatics center, strength training in its fitness center, and traveling the state to play badminton. And a trip to China next March will combine touring and badminton training. No surprise, Betty s not always home for dinner. But Maris Grove s flexible meal plan suits her schedule. It provides credits for 20 meals a month in any campus restaurant. She also has the freedom to change her meal plan to the full-month option. Betty unwinds in the sunroom of the Allcorns spacious two-bedroom, Washington-style apartment home. Her office sits in one corner of their expansive great room, and Bob s computer is in their second bedroom. So we each have our own personal space, Betty says. Having more stuff would cramp her style. Moving to Maris Grove hasn t cramped it one bit.