Six gold and two silver medals for West Herts Wizards at the English Open Pickleball Championships

A squad of 17 players from West Herts Wizards Pickleball Club, based at Berkhamsted Leisure Centre, had fantastic success at the English Open Championship at Telford last weekend (3-6th August, 2023). This was a massive championship attracting over 1,000 entrants, from 34 different countries, showing the popularity of pickleball and how it is the fastest growing sport in the UK.
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It was extremely exciting to see two players from the local Dacorum club playing against each other in a final that is open to international players. Andy Tallyn and Simon Beddell spun the magic to take gold and silver medals respectively, and then continued to display their pickleball skills the following day when they teamed up together in the doubles, and again won the gold medal in the 35+ years category.

To achieve success this way was tremendous, but there was more to come. Fellow Wizards Tim Gill and Roy Eastwood, from the Berkhamsted Based club, also played against each other in the 60+ years singles final, winning gold and silver, and they also paired up the next day to win the gold medal in the men's doubles.

Still more success to come, with club member Philip Cohen. He achieved two gold medals in the 60+ years 3.0 category, winning in both the men's doubles and mixed doubles. This meant West Herts Wizards had won 6 gold and two silver medals in total.

Singles podium, Gold for Andy Tallyn, Silver for Simon Beddell.Singles podium, Gold for Andy Tallyn, Silver for Simon Beddell.
Singles podium, Gold for Andy Tallyn, Silver for Simon Beddell.

Other Wizards came close to getting medals with Graham Tallyn getting to the semi-finals and many club pairings reaching quarter finals.

West Herts Wizards have only been a club for 18 months, and now have over 100 members. The club has 5 sessions per week, providing opportunities for both social and competitive play. They now have coaches with international coaching qualifications, which is contributing to the success of the club. This is not only evident in national championships, but also locally in team games, where West Herts Wizards are currently topping the table of the newly formed Herts Pickleball League.

Wizards are now looking forward to October, when they can compete in the English Nationals and go for even more success.

Pickleball is a mixture of tennis, table tennis and badminton. It is played with paddles and a light weight wiffle ball on a badminton court, with the net at tennis height. It is an easy game to pick up quickly, but to play at the top level, you need to understand the specific intricacies of the game, and learn how to play strategically. Pickleball is a fun game, and people of all ages can play it.

If you want more information on pickleball, or West Herts Wizards Pickleball Club, email [email protected] or message Facebook