My name is Lesa, aka, Petunia Pickle

I have been playing pickleball for a little over 10 years. I began playing pickleball in Florida and have been “hooked” ever since.   I visited facilities and community parks outside of Ithaca that had pickleball and quickly became a part of a growing pickleball community. I have played competitively everywhere and hope to continue to do so in the future. Eventually, Ithaca embraced pickleball and we began growing our small community.  I became a US Pickleball Association Ambassador in Ithaca and surrounding counties. As the sport evolved and more people began to inquire about pickleball, I became an IPTPA level II certified pickleball instructor.  Teaching community members how to play the sport that has brought me so much joy has been an honor and a privilege.  My PhD in education and research has uniquely qualified me to offer various techniques and methods by which various learners can grasp the sport. As the owner of Pickleball Mania, the most thrilling experience for me has been to look at the joy and excitement of those who play and leave with smiles on their faces.

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Pickleball has grown tremendously within the last 10 years. During the summer months, we play at Cass Park where we have 6 pickleball courts!  Pickleball Mania grew out of a need to have a space to play during the cold winter months.  Pickleball Mania was opened in December 2020 in the heart of a pandemic. Although we all wanted to remain safe and healthy, we found it difficult to no longer be able to play pickleball!  So, Pickleball Mania has saved many from the winter blues and from extreme isolation brought on by the pandemic.  Ithaca has roughly 250 pickleball players.  We use an email list and a google sheet to notify others where we intend to play!  Pickleball Mania has 4 dedicated pickleball courts.  It is over 18,000 sq. ft. It has locker rooms, showers, and rest rooms. Pickleball Mania welcomes all!

Pickleball Mania recently celebrated it’s one year opening anniversary, December 8th, 2020.  Upon reflection of the year’s pickleball activities, we have recognized the need to expand the services we offer to the community. Given the vast space, we recently opened the facility to corporate businesses, university athletic teams, church organizations and birthday party groups to have “fun days” with us. We included other activities such as basketball, table tennis, Spike ball, Darts (youth and adult), kickball, soccer for children, foosball, and air hockey.  We hope to include other activities as we understand the needs of the community.

pickleball is a family affair!