Pickleball a sport for a lifetime - FOX 32 News Chicago

Pickleball a sport for a lifetime

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ATLANTA -

It started as a backyard game on an old badminton court in the state of Washington in 1965. Today, more than 50,000 people worldwide play pickleball, and it's a game that can be played for a lifetime.

Sid Cojac, 99, is known around the Marcus Jewish Community Center as the Mayor of Main Street.  He calls the center his second home. But, perhaps the place where Sid feels most at home is the pickleball court.

"Pickleball is modified tennis," said Cojac."You play with a wiffle ball, and it's a stunning game especially for seniors who have gone beyond the tennis playing days."

Don't tell the Cojac that he's a senior, even though his playing partner and most of his opponents are considerably younger.

"Good player, great player. When the ball is reachable, he can generally put it away or put it in a good spot to make life difficult for the opponents to return it," said Hugh Jamieson.

"For me, I've got to win. Not that I win all the time, but I'm on the court to win," said Cojac.

On this day, despite trailing 7-1 to a couple of relative youngsters, Cojac never gave up.  

"We have a lot to come back, but we're going to keep trying," said Cojac.

They stormed back to make it a competitive match, before eventually losing a heartbreaker, 11-7.

According to Cojac, who will turn 100 years old in November, pickleball is not the secret to longevity. He credits eating healthy, his lifelong active and athletic lifestyle, and his competitive spirit.

"No, I've had all the medical problems like everyone else, but I've been blessed with life. God's been good to me and here I am," said Cojac.

Cojac learned the game while living in Charlotte. He says he brought it to Atlanta and it has taken off like wild fire.

Why is it called pickleball?  Legend has it that back in 1965, the family cocker spaniel, named Pickles, used to chase stray balls and hide in the bushes.  Pickles is credited as one of the co-inventors of the game.

For more information on the sport, click here!

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