Warrnambool Table Tennis Association president Mark Taylor has taken on a new challenge.
He has become Pickleball Victoria's new president, replacing Andrew Sloane who is also Warrnambool-based.
Sloane, who held the position for a year, was the group's inaugural president.
Pickleball combines elements of tennis, table tennis and badminton. Players use a paddle to hit a light-weight plastic ball.
Taylor's goal is get Pickleball Victoria recognised as a state sporting organisation by the state government.
As he noted "we're not recognised as a sport like table tennis or tennis at the moment".
He said Pickleball Victoria needed to be in operation for three years and tick a number of boxes.
He noted one requirement is that Pickleball has a national sporting body. So that's something he's working towards too.
Taylor said becoming a state sporting oganisation was important because it would open up opportunities for funding and be useful when working with councils.
Sloane and Taylor are giving the sport every chance of success.
They have both previously worked for South West Sport (SWS) and have background in governance.
Taylor was club development officer at SWS and is also a previous chair of the South West Academy of Sport (SWAS) - an organisation which fosters talented young athletes.
Sloane is SWAS chief executive officer.
When Sloane was program manager at SWS he worked closely with respected sports figure Val Bertrand who started Pickleball in Warrnambool.
That was about three or four years ago and since then the game has expanded to Timboon, Camperdown and Portland.
Taylor and Sloane are keen to lay a solid foundation for Pickleball Victoria so others can step into leadership positions with confidence in the future.
Taylor said Pickleball was growing fast in Victoria.
While it's a positive, it also presents as a challenge for him and his team to get in front of that growth and be well organised.
Sloane said Pickleball Victoria currently had more than 140 members and probably four times that amount who are playing socially.
Taylor intends to visit as many Victorian-based Pickleball groups as possible to help build momentum.
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Passionate about covering all sports from Ultimate Frisbee through to the latest footy and netball updates. Started at The Examiner in January 2022. Was part of the Warrnambool Standard's sports team which won the 2019 AFL Victoria Best Print/Online coverage for a daily newspaper. Got a story? Email: email@example.com
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