Provide youth with opportunities to compete in pickleball. Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the United States and we are connecting youth pickleballers all across the state. The inherent physical, social, and emotional benefits of playing pickleball encourages a healthy lifestyle. Everyone can play pickleball!
How It Began...
The Utah Junior Pickleball Organization (JPO) was formed in late 2020 by Tyler Loong, a professional pickleball player and former collegiate tennis player, and others who are advocates of both junior tennis and junior pickleball. Mr. Loong founded JPO because he saw an opportunity for juniors to begin competing in pickleball tournaments in their own age divisions instead of competing solely in the adult divisions, as has been the case. Now, by combining the vision of JPO with the robust existing tennis programming offered by the Utah Tennis Association, Mr. Loong sees tremendous synergies:
"I grew up playing tennis and loved every second on the court. Pickleball is another opportunity to use my skills I developed playing tennis in a new game I love. My tennis skills translate 100% into pickleball. In fact, pickleball has improved my tennis game and vice versa. As a pro player, I have a great desire for the youth of Utah to explore pickleball as an opportunity and outlet because it's fun, competitive, and has given me so many opportunities to compete and travel. I am grateful for Utah Tennis' vision and desire to add pickleball to its existing programming. This will be a very exciting partnership that will improve the lives of youth across the state."
UTA/JPO will create the first comprehensive junior pickleball circuit. JPO players will compete in JPO sanctioned tournaments, leagues, and other events to accumulate points toward their Utah JPO ranking. The Utah Tennis Association (UTA) is the state office for the National United States Tennis Association (USTA). The UTA runs local tennis leagues, tournaments and community outreach programs for juniors and adults in the State of Utah.