In 2015 Lenka Mišičková, a table tennis coach from Hradec nad Moravicí, visited Windsor in Canada, where she was invited by a friend, the winner of the US Michigan State Championships, originally Slovak, now Canadian Jan Vlček. Jan took Lenka to pickleball training where she had the opportunity to play with him and try this sport for the first time. And it was love at first sight.
In 2014, English teacher Jodi Oppenhuizen brought some rackets to Christian International School of Prague. Thanks to the organizers of the International Tournament in Amsterdam in 2016, Lenka and Jodi got together via Facebook. Jodi helped children from the FIT Sports Club in Opava and Hradec nad Moravicí and loaned several rackets and balls for pickleball lessons in North Moravia and Silesia. For the first time the youngsters could try this sport in the summer of 2015 at the Summer Sports Camp in Hradec nad Moravicí. Since they liked the game very much, from the new school year 2015/2016 the young people got the opportunity to learn the basics of this sport in the clubs in Hradec nad Moravicí and Opava.
In the spring of 2016, a major breakthrough was made with the creation of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Pickleball Czech and the creation of a new website www.pickleballczech.cz with the great help of the President of the Ukrainian Pickleball Association, American David Conover. The aim was to inform the public, interested people or groups about this new sport through these social media.
At the same time, the Czech Association of Pickleball (CAP) was founded. The main goal of CAP is to take care of the development of this young racket sport in the Czech Republic and it operates throughout the Czech Republic so that anyone interested in this new game can play pickleball. This organization cooperates with foreign partners.
The year 2016 was a year of great successes.At the turn of April and May, the world’s largest tournament US OPEN Championship took place in Florida and the Czech Republic was also represented there and won its first ever medal at this tournament. Lenka Mišičková won the silver medal in the Singles Age category. Other successes did not wait long. At the following International Tournament in Amsterdam, the Czech player won silver in the women’s doubles withwith her Dutch teammate Jolanda Klaasen. The end of the season was then graced by two golds in singles and mixed doubles with Spain’s Leonardo Gonzales and one bronze in women’s doubles with American Katherine Holmquist from the International Tournament in Ukraine.
In the autumn, the biggest outdoor tournament took place in Madrid, Spain, where Lenka Mišičková became the most successful participant. There she won two gold medals in mixed doubles with Leonardo Gonzales and Elaine Shallcross from England. The last tournament of this year was organized in Stratford upon Avon, England, where our player continued her previous successes and won two gold medals (mixed doubles with Leonardo Gonzales and women doubles with Elaine Shallcross one silver medal.