WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Trust for the National Mall in partnership with Humana (NYSE: HUM) announced today that they will introduce America’s newest and most accessible pastime—pickleball—to America’s most inviting front yard—the National Mall—with the inaugural National Mall of Pickleball.
The National Mall is an iconic open space where for over 100 years, Americans have gathered to play, learn, dream, and connect across cultures and generations. This year, from September 28th through September 30th, Humana and the Trust for the National Mall will bring people together to celebrate the National Mall and pickleball, its life-changing benefits, and those who have pioneered the most accessible and fastest-growing multi-generational sport in the U.S. – seniors.
For the first time ever, nine temporary pickleball courts will be constructed on the JFK Hockey Fields, adjacent to the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. The free, three-day event will have various programs for the public to take part in and is sure to be a monumental occasion. Programming includes matches with celebrities, like actor, comedian and U.S. veteran Rob Riggle, and award-winning journalist, Katie Couric, a DMV-area recreation league tournament, on-site pickleball lessons and clinics, an “in the kitchen” cooking demo from a notable chef, and even some exhibition match play with Major League Pickleball’s newly minted D.C. Pickleball Team.
Like the National Mall, pickleball is having its own American moment. In 2022, over 36.5 million Americans played pickleball, almost the same number of visitors seen on the National Mall each year. According to Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), more than half (52%) of core pickleball players in the U.S. – those who play eight or more times a year – are 55 and older, and almost one third (32.7%) of all core pickleball players are 65 and older.
This inaugural event is being planned to demonstrate the ways that pickleball is helping America’s seniors stay active and engaged. In parallel path, the National Mall of Pickleball will help raise awareness and support to preserve and protect the National Mall as a vibrant space where all can come to connect, unite, reflect, and recreate.
“At its core, Humana is committed to championing seniors, promoting healthy and active lifestyles, and fostering social connections,” said Bruce Broussard, President and Chief Executive Officer of Humana. “We are excited to bring pickleball—an accessible, inclusive and friendly sport—to one of the most special places in our country where everyone, regardless of background, has the opportunity to connect, be active, and live their healthiest life.”
“Humana shares our vision to encourage Americans to learn about and experience the National Mall for all that it offers - as a symbol of our American democracy and also as a vibrant and accessible space for all," said Catherine Townsend, President and CEO of the Trust for the National Mall. "Partnerships with companies like Humana help the Trust elevate the awareness and impact of our mission to restore, preserve and enrich the National Mall, while also bringing people together for the fun, growing sport of pickleball to celebrate this inclusive space.” “What’s not to love about pickleball at the National Mall?!,” said Rob Riggle, actor, and comedian, who will be judging the September 28 matches. “Sports are a great way to bring people together – especially pickleball with such an iconic backdrop. I’m looking forward to joining all of the pickleball players courtside for some friendly competition and maybe even a little bit of heckling.”
There will be a limited number of courts available for the public to reserve ahead of the event. Starting on Thursday, September 14 at 12:00pm ET, online reservations can be made for a free hour of court time for two players who will be matched with another two players upon arrival at the on-site registration. Additionally, the public can sign up for a limited number of spots for beginner, intermediate and advanced pickleball clinics that will be hosted by D.C. Pickleball Team players Sam Querrey, Riley Newman and Christian Alshon. In addition to the advance sign-ups, there will be dedicated walk on courts for players to show up and be added to the walk on rotation.
To learn more about the National Mall of Pickleball, the planned activities and to sign-up for court time or clinics in advance, please visit: https://nationalmall.org/pickleball
Members of the media interested in attending the event must register. Please fill out this form. Organizers will follow up promptly to confirm the status of your media credentials.
Humana Inc. is committed to putting health first – for our teammates, our customers, and our company. Through our Humana insurance services, and our CenterWell health care services, we make it easier for the millions of people we serve to achieve their best health – delivering the care and service they need, when they need it. These efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, Medicaid, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large. Learn more about what we offer at Humana.com and at CenterWell.com.
About Trust for the National Mall
As the leading nonprofit, nonpartisan philanthropic partner of the National Park Service dedicated to restoring, enriching and preserving the National Mall, the Trust for the National Mall brings expertise, private funding and in-kind support to ensure that the National Mall endures and evolves as a vibrant space for all. To learn more and to support our mission visit: www.nationalmall.org | email@example.com