By Michele Puchala

In the growing world of pickleball, USAPA Ambassadors are tasked with many responsibilities from a firm knowledge of the rules to introducing the sport to others. Representing the USAPA is a privilege and it has been mine for the last three years. It is a large network of other volunteer ambassadors that support one another in growing the sport and organizing play in your jurisdiction. USAPA Ambassadors also have access to an exclusive forum to discuss matters, share ideas and offer support. It’s a wealth of information specifically given to Ambassadors to use in a positive way to not only grow the sport but to help grow the USAPA.

Michele Puchala, ongoing ambassador (L) with new ambassadors, Ronnie and Bev Dowdy.

The USAPA is the governing body of pickleball just as the USTA is the governing body of tennis. If you are involved in pickleball it is to your advantage to join the USAPA. Not only will you be supporting the sport you love, you will bring prestige to your community and help in advocating for community support.

Recently, your local pickleball players have had to pleasure of introducing the sport to the Lake Lure Classical Academy. The USAPA Ambassadors help in organizing clinics, materials and researching possible grants. The coaches at Lake Lure Classical Academy have been very receptive in learning the sport and have already included pickleball in their Physical Education classes.

USAPA has recently approved the application of Ambassadorship to Bev and Ronnie Dowdy, a husband and wife team who have been playing pickleball since 2014 and recently won the Gold Medal at the Seniors Games in Asheville. It is my pleasure to introduce and recommend Bev and Ronnie Dowdy to the community as your new USAPA Ambassador for Rutherford County. If you wish to reach out to them, you can email them at Be safe, be healthy, be happy, Michele Puchala USAPA Ambassador