A Golden Pickle

Trudie & Rex Vs Alan & Ray 11-0-2

Golden pickle means when one team in a pickleball match wins all the points without losing the first server. This means they didn't allow the other team to serve or even score a point. That is what a Golden pickle means in a pickleball match.

All 11 points from the first person to serve.


As you can see from the picture, Trudie's joy shows she did all the serving and won a 'Golden Pickle Win'

Progress and politics: a year in the life of Dunstable Hunters Pickleball Club

By Mike Dale Pickleball52.com

19 March 2024

It’s been quite a year for Dunstable Hunters. The Bedfordshire pickleball club has been discussed in Parliament, has founded new leagues, taken the sport into schools and care homes and pioneered new rules to adapt the game for the physically and cognitively impaired.

Founded just over a year ago by account manager Trudie Ellis and locksmith husband Rex, Dunstable Hunters has quickly grown into a thriving community with an ambitious and innovative outlook.

It has also found itself at the centre of pickleball’s current governance debate after Trudie and Rex asked one of the club’s members, South West Bedfordshire MP Andrew Selous, to raise the issue of pickleball being officially recognised by Sport England in the House of Commons. He duly did so and invited Culture, Media and Sport Minister, Stuart Andrew, to join Dunstable Hunters and try out the sport for himself.

Amid chuckles from fellow MPs in the House, Mr. Andrew replied: “How can I possibly resist such an invitation? People are laughing, but this is becoming a more and more popular sport. For me, anything that gets people active and enjoying sport can only be positive, so I am happy to come to see it in action.”

The clip featured on the TV news and also featured in a powderkeg Daily Telegraph article which brought the issue of pickleball’s official recognition – and the future of its governance – into national consciousness.

“It started when we reminded Andrew Selous to renew his membership and I asked him whether he could get the Sports Minister to come along to the club,” Trudie tells Pickleball52. “That was on the Tuesday, and on Thursday he rang to tell us he’s just stood up in Parliament in asked the question! I was so impressed. That moment has started a wider conversation and really moved things along.”

Trudie and Rex are well practised in getting things moving pretty quickly. After discovering pickleball at Leighton Buzzard PC and also playing at North Herts, they could see the potential to grow the sport, so founded their own club, Dunstable Hunters, almost exactly a year ago (16 March 2023). In October, they were asked to take over leadership of a small pickleball group in the village of Silsoe, who have now expanded and become Silsoe Hunters. There are now four sessions a week in Dunstable and five in Silsoe. “It’s just gone ‘boom’!” says Trudie.

Rex and Hunters vice captain Martin Herbert run Introduction to Pickleball sessions for between 10-15 people every fortnight, such is the demand from inquisitive newcomers. Trudie also organises Level Up courses, run by coach Nick Pomery, which fast-track players’ progress, as well as hosting visiting coaches such as and Tony McElvaine, Andy Tallyn from Berkhamsted Wizards and Lou Stephens from London Pickleball. A new ball machine, purchased with funds raised by club members, has spiced up training sessions too.

In February, Trudie (in her role as Bedfordshire county representative) founded the Three Counties Doubles League (Herts, Beds and Bucks) in association with Pickleball England and also started an inter-club tournament called the Hunters Pack Games.

Trudie has designed a Dink King Solo wall training aid which schools can use to help children deal with stress using a clever distraction technique. She has applied for Lottery funding to expand to 100 schools in the next five years.

Trudie and Rex have delivered pickleball in a youth club and even a residential care home, where they were joined by the Mayor of Dunstable, Cllr Liz Jones (a Hunters club member), doing gentle exercise with the residents and introducing them to pickleball.

In one year, 238 people (from children to the elderly) have attended an Introduction to Pickleball session run by Dunstable and Silsoe Hunters. In total they have had 290 people through the doors – and 158 have gone on to become members.

Unbelievably, that’s not all. Hunters has pioneered its own specific set of Adaptive Pickleball rules to level the playing field for players with physical disabilities. These rules could soon be adopted more widely across the sport.

But we shall pause for breath there and leave that story for a separate article very soon on Pickleball52. Dunstable Hunters develop and innovate at such a pace, that with every week that goes past, they have new, positive tales to tell.

Level Up course

Nick Pomery IPTPA Class II coach

12 Pickleball players from Dunstable Hunters, North Herts and HTC had a great first lesson of six.


Our MP comes to play

What a fabulous turn out of our members. Another evening of fun and exercise.
Saturdasy morning
24 June 23

Click on image for all pictures

Wednesday evening 
21 June 2023

Click on image for all pictures

It is important to spend 10 minutes warming up before you go into a full on game. Here we are Dinking.

Our muscles need to be gently encouraged to work, just like me.

Come along and watch our members play

Be warned. You will want to have ago

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