Tully Igloo’s courts in action during Pickleball Open Day

The Who’s Who of Far North Queensland Pickleball attended the Open Day at the Igloo in Tully (left to right): Ron Neyenhuis (Tully Mission Beach Pickleball Club), Frances Pelgrave (Malanda), Graham Haling (Cairns), Peter Trevorrow (Malanda), Sue Lyon (orange shirt - Cairns), Lynley Halliday (Cairns -rear), John Holly (Malanda – rear), and Annie Peacock (Cairns – front).

World Pickleball Day, on Sunday, October 10, was celebrated with an Open Day held by the Tully Mission Beach Pickleball Club at Tully’s iconic Igloo.


Fifty-eight people attended, from as far afield as Cairns, Malanda, Redlynch, and Cardwell, together with many locals from the Cassowary Coast region. There was a lengthy list of court bookings on the notice board, such was the demand to experience Pickleball. 


The majority of those visitors who had never previously played Pickleball quickly joined in the fun and had a game or two, with experienced players on hand to provide coaching and encouragement. As a result, the Tully Mission Beach Pickleball Club has already received several expressions of interest from those first-time players who now wish to join the Club and actively pursue Pickleball as their sport of choice.


Despite the elevated temperatures outside, cool breezes funnelled through the Igloo and playing at all levels was an enjoyable and not a sweltering experience. Fluid and fuel were kept up by a delicious  array of cold drinks, tea and coffee, sandwiches, savouries, slices, and cakes, and a BBQ sausage sizzle for lunch.


Of particular note was the number of Far North Queensland’s ‘who’s who’ of Pickleball who made the trip to Tully to both promote the game and to play hard and fast at the Igloo, to the delight of spectators. They were overwhelmingly appreciative and complimentary regarding the venue, and many consider the Igloo as the [sic] the best special purpose building for Pickleball in Australia.


The future of Pickleball at Tully’s iconic Igloo is, however, currently in the hands of the Cassowary Coast Regional Council due to its Asset Rationalisation project. A recent meeting between its new Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Graffen, and the spokesperson for the Tully Igloo Preservation Group, Marcus Thomas, was more positive than meetings with other Council Officers, and it is hoped that the Igloo will be recognised as a valuable community asset and that the Council will enter into a User Agreement to enable its continued use by the Tully Mission Beach Pickleball Club and other interested community groups.

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