Pickleball Magazine 2-6 - Page 92

FAMILY PROFILE A Family That Plays Together, STAYS TOGETHER I t would be hard to miss the Mathison family playing in a tournament. The first giveaway would be the matching shirts, which they all wear to show their solidarity. The second giveaway would be the number of those shirts you’d see – 18 in all. But their enthusiasm for the game just goes to show how viral pickleball can be. “It started with my older brother, Dayson, about two years ago,” explained Cami Mathison. “He introduced pickleball to us—we’re all tennis players. We played for about a year and thought, ‘Why not get the whole family involved?’ So, we went up to the church gym and introduced everybody to pickleball.” With keys to the gym, and the church being just a five- minute drive away, in the heart of Kalispell, Montana, the Mathisons’ practice routine is comprised of a few group texts and then meeting to set up the nets. “More often than not, we’ll get half of us, if not more,” Mathison said. “Some of us play every day. We have everybody about three times a week.” “Everybody” includes Cami, her siblings, their spouses and children, and her parents. The family started competing in tournaments in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, just over the state line and has made that an annual family tournament because of its easy logistics for 18 90 people. Other tournaments, like the Indoor National Championships in Centralia, Washington, require a little more planning. “For Centralia, we have to plan a few months in advance. Everybody has jobs and obligations, so we put the word out and if they want to come, they sign up too,” Cami explained. “My brother has an RV, so he’ll drive around in that. And, for anything near Spokane, we can stay at my sister’s home. Everywhere else, we need to arrange for hotel rooms. But we like to support Selkirk, so we make the effort to go to events they have a hand in.” The allegiance to Selkirk, which is based in Idaho, stems from the company’s community outreach, which had an impact on Cami personally. “I’m a physical education teacher and when I did my internship in Rexburg, I taught pickleball in the classes at different schools and followed it up with a 10-week pickleball clinic over the summer,” she said. “The clinic was for kids from 5 to 12 years old and we had about 16 kids. Selkirk provided us with the paddles.” Not only were the clinics a hit, but the enthusiasm for the game that Cami brought to Rexford spilled over the community at large. The town is currently in the process of building four pickleball courts for community play, which were approved earlier this year.  • TO SUBSCRIBE CALL 888.308.3720 OR GO TO THEPICKLEBALLMAG.COM