Cove Pickleball Club Heats Up at Chilly Club Med
By Mike Sullivan
It’s not easy to get the members of the Cove Pickleball Club to want to play pickleball anywhere but Cypress Cove. After all, what’s better than frolicking on the pickleball courts in nature’s own sportswear, in the warm Florida sunshine, inside the tropical garden paradise of Cypress Cove, with all your happy pickleball friends?
But when the opportunity came along to spend four days and three nights playing in a pickleball tournament in January at the only Club Med in the United States, an all-inclusive French-themed resort in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, twenty-six members from the Cove Pickleball Club signed up for the event. We even chartered a luxury motor coach to bring eighteen of us to and from the resort, and named it “The Big Happy Fun Bus.”
We dreamed of four lovely, warm, sun-filled days of competitive and recreational play mixed in with lazy hours relaxing in the Infinity Pool and Infinity Hot Tub, refueling on the wonderful French cooking, and then rehydrating at the Slice bar and lounge after a day on the courts — all of it all-inclusive!
Little did we know then that the weekend of the event, January 28-31, 2022, would turn out to be the coldest, windiest weekend in Central Florida in more than forty years. And so, before sunrise on the first day of competition, our players layered on every piece of clothing we brought on the trip to face a day of tournament play with temperatures starting in the upper 30’s and rising no higher than fifty-four degrees, with 30mph winds confounding matters all day with unpredictable gusts blowing pickleballs everywhere.
The second day of competition had much-improved conditions with calm winds and sunny skies, but with temperatures still twenty-five degrees below normal. All of the 290 competitors in the event, from all fifty states and eight foreign countries, considered the conditions that weekend at Club Med to be the coldest and most challenging they’d ever faced.
But the intrepid Cove Pickleball Club players soldiered through it all, and after more than 4,000 games of pickleball were concluded late Sunday afternoon, they made Cypress Cove proud with a truly amazing haul of medals.
In summary, the eighteen Cove Pickleball Club players on the trip came to the podium on Sunday night to claim these medals:
For a tiny group of competitors among the 290 players in the tournament, that is a really impressive result!
Now here’s the specific medal breakdown for all the Cove players (decimal figures are the skill level bracket 1-5, 5 being Professional level; i.e., Ladies 3.5 means Ladies doubles, 3.5/5.0 skill level):
Amassing a medal count that impressive against players from all over the world gave the Cove Pickleball Club players reassurance that their skills can stack up head-to-head against all comers.
Despite the brutally cold and windy conditions, all our Cove Pickleball Club players said they’d return again for another tournament at Club Med next year—hopefully, under more moderate and seasonal conditions—and win even more medals to bring back to beautiful Cypress Cove!
Everyone in the group appreciated the sponsorship provided by Cypress Cove, with snazzy team logo/Cove logo shirts we wore during the competitions (over several other layers!), nice name tag lanyards, and club logo hats and visors. They helped us spread the word about Cypress Cove, and we struck up many nice chats with folks asking about our home and promising to make a visit sometime soon, where they can play pickleball in the most comfortable outfit possible.
Do you want to give pickleball a try and have fun with new friends every day, year-round? Come out to the six dedicated pickleball courts at Cypress Cove any morning around 9am and join our group of 200-plus Cove Pickleball Club players! All you need to get started are a pair of athletic shoes, a hat and sunglasses, and a smile! Find out for yourself why pickleball is the world’s fastest-growing sport!
Pickleball is easy and quick to learn, and seriously addicting. New players at ANY level of ability can play the game and have fun immediately, and there’s no better place to play in natural comfort than at beautiful Cypress Cove. Our friendly Cove Pickleball Club players will get you started and you’ll be laughing and having fun in five minutes!