Sarasota Pickleball Club

The Sarasota Pickleball Club (SPC) has its roots in the early days of 2017 when there were no dedicated pickleball courts in Sarasota County. The goal of the
original team of volunteers was to work together on behalf of the pickleball community to persuade the County to provide courts for what was soon to become the fastest growing sport in the nation.


The original volunteers of the Club were Russell Elefterion, Carrie Palmer, Cathy
Denault and Tom Everitt. Cathy and Tom are still officers of the current Club.


The initial effort of the volunteer committee revolved around developing the Club, raising funds to donate to the County to facilitate the creation of dedicated courts. This objective was never achieved.


Throughout 2017-2018 the volunteers attended multi-purpose indoor courts in order to solicit support, raise funds, and recruit more volunteer operatives. They attended meetings with the County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources principals to discuss converting underutilized tennis courts to pickleball courts without success; they conducted pickleball demonstrations and play at youth camps throughout the summer; they met with and made presentations to County Commissioners.


The Club was instrumental in establishing the pickleball community at the Church of the Palms and provided complimentary lessons to beginning players, subsequently developing an internal team of instructors.


In 2019, the County presented the Club with an idea for developing property adjacent to the new Legacy Trail extension for dedicated courts. This was then transferred to a plan to develop 12 courts at the Pompano Trailhead site. 

Meanwhile, Club representatives continued to meet with government officials when the opportunity to develop courts might be considered. They met with the team rehabilitating the Bobby Jones golf complex, and continued meeting with the County for other improvements.

During this same period, the Club continued to mature with new Directors and committee members. In May, 2020, the Club established its By-Laws and became incorporated in the State of Florida. The officers at the time of incorporation were:


President:   Tom Everitt

Vice-President:  Russell Young

Secretary:  Becky Cecil

Treasurer:  Darryl Jordan

Director Membership:   Carrie Palmer

Director Communications: Cathy Denault

Director-At-Large:  Judy Robertson


In August, 2022, the County launched 12 dedicated courts at Pompano Trailhead and six dedicated courts at Longwood Run Park. The Club was now able to create and host four tournaments a year, provide Skills and Drills clinics, social/play sessions, round robins for members and more.


The Club continues to work for more courts for the playing community. Six dedicated courts are scheduled for construction in 2024 at the following locations: Potter Park, Nokomis, By-pass Park in Venice. In 2025, six courts will be completed at Twin Lakes Park.  


The Club has filed for and received approval by the federal government to be designated as a 501c(3), non-profit organization. The Club has made philanthropic activities part of their endeavors providing financial and in-kind support to veterans, homeless, cancer and community support organizations. 


The Club has been moving forward to establish a “home” for its members. As of  May, 2024, evening play is offered at the Salvation Army on S. Tuttle. Following the Summer schedule, the Club anticipates providing daytime play five days a week which will provide a platform for skill development, possible new player clinics as well as open play.

This new “home” at the Salvation Army will continue the foundation of community support, player development, social interaction and friendly recreational play.