For those who are interested in the backgrounds of the present 2018/2019 Committee Members, we have put together some biographies for you.
Gabi Plumm, President PAA from 2015 to present time
Gabi was taught to play Pickleball in California in 2014, by her son, Morgan Evans, a well known US Gold medalist and Pro Coach with Selkirk Sports. She introduced the game to a few friends in Cairns in March 2015, just hoping to find someone to play with and somewhere to play. She created the Pickleball Association of Australia early in 2017 with Secretary Lorraine Christiansen, and WA coordinator Bob White. The PAA Committee has grown to 12 members all with their own portfolios. Since then in 3 1/2 years the game has taken off like wildfire, now being played in four states and boasting some 1500 players country wide. Responsible, at the moment, for website admin, general admin, helping new players to find their closest venues and a couple hundred other things, Gabi continues to work full time as an editor for novels and articles whilst getting on court as often as possible. Gabi is also a Level 1 IPTPA Instructor.
Lorraine Christiansen: Secretary PAA
I have been playing Pickleball now for three years. I was introduced to this quirky game in New Hampshire by a now US National Champion. I enjoy playing wherever I travel – within Australia and the USA. That’s one of the exciting aspects of this game. It’s very social and one you can join in and play wherever you travel. I have introduced my family and many friends to the game, and my husband and I love to play Pickleball together. Since the middle of 2016 I have been working towards developing this sport within Australia, having found it being played in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. Since then I have been spreading the word about what an amazing game this is: fun, social, and quite a workout. In this short amount of time we have developed a large following of over 100 interested players in Brisbane where I live and have recently formed the Brisbane Pickleball Club. I love to foster new interest in the sport and have been working with many different locals throughout Queensland and Australia. I enjoy meeting and working with everyone in the Pickleball arena as they are so enthusiastic about the future of the sport, especially its growth within Australia. I am also a Level 1 IPTPA Instructor/coach.
Mark Jagger: Assistant Secretary
Pickleball Addict; I love the game. I have now been playing for around four years. I first started to play the game in Thailand were I was introduced to it by good friends who are also crazy about the sport. Two years ago I was fortunate enough to meet Gabi and Lorraine back home in Australia. With lots of determination and hard work we started to create small groups of new Pickleball players. Today we have over five permanent sessions each week with regular beginners’ clinics. I am also a Level 1 IPTPA Instructor/Coach. In the future, I would love to see us playing on permanent Pickleball courts throughout all Qld and Australia.
Tony Morgan: Coordinator Newcastle NSW
Vice President of Badminton NSW, President of Hunter Badminton Inc., Subcommittee member running the Hunter Pickleball Club.
I have played badminton for 25 years and my experience has lead me into administration roles. Over the years I have organised many competitions but my passion has always been coaching and sports development especially with beginners and juniors.
The Pickleball bug? Yes, I have it now… I have only been playing Pickleball since November 2017 (less than a year), but once it was formally introduced to NSW, I play locally twice a week while helping to promote the Pickleball movement whenever I can. Together with Bob Mendelsohn, we ran NSW’s first ever competition (a Sydney v Newcastle club competition) and more recently organised the first Australian Pickleball Nationals in October 2018 also in Sydney. Playing Pickleball has also allowed me to remain activity and competitive, while being side lined from badminton from a partially torn shoulder ligament injury.
Bob White: WA Coordinator
My name is Bob White and I am the PAA’s Sport Development representative for Western Australia. I have been actively involved in competitive squash for over 40 years and have played social tennis and badminton on numerous occasions. I was first introduced to Pickleball in late 2015 during a visit to the United States to see my sister who lives in St George, UTAH. Her husband, Dave had just bought her a Pickleball set and we played a few games on one of St George’s outdoor courts.
Prior to this, I had never even heard of the sport and had to google it to find out what this strange game was all about. But, as with most of us, I fell in love with the sport almost immediately and have been actively promoting it ever since. We have competitions running at various centres in Perth, and I would estimate participation to be in excess of 50 players. I have completed the IPTPA Level 1 Pickleball Instructors Course and use these skills to help introduce new players to the sport.
Roxanne Melloway: Coordinator Gold Coast, Queensland
Once upon a time… in the late (California) summer of 2014… a young maiden, (okay, middle-aged woman) enticed by the promise of something more irresistible than you know what(!) (really, 40 love, anyone???) was lured to a dimly lit farmers hay-barn where she was introduced to charming, elusive, devilish PICKLEBALL … and fell head over heels in love. Poor Roxanne was never the same! A torrid affair ensued, (well… hard lessons on how not to bang! Excuse me!!) and just as a ‘crossed-the-line’ feverish crescendo was upon the new found lovers, Roxanne was punch-volleyed to a far-away land, (that’s a little dramatic,) and upon her return to her homeland of Australia, Roxanne suffered severe dinking (and, yes, sadly… banger) withdrawals! She drifted into the forbidden ‘no go’ kitchens of the Gold Coast (seriously! she frantically googled ‘Pickleball Gold Coast’) and to her relief discovered a handful of fellow PICKLEBALL victims… (e.g., others with dinking/banging issues?) After three shots dropped, ecstatic to have found each other, a deep mutual bond (pickle-dependence?) was formed and a no-banging agreement reached! Somehow… the smitten Roxanne became secretary (prefers, Madame secretary) of the GCPA. She is also a proud committee member of the PAA and whole heartedly embraces promoting and co-ordinating the on-going obsession of Pickleball throughout Australia. I am also a Level 1 IPTPA Coach.
Bob Mendelsohn: Coordinator NSW, Sydney region
Bob Mendelsohn began playing Pickleball in October 2016 in Kansas City (USA). He had returned to his native city for a speaking tour there and discovered the game by accident. After 10 minutes on an indoor court with some other keen players, he was hooked. He played again six months later also in KC, and then after one more US visit in October 2017, he set up the first Open Day in Sydney (November 2017). From there the game has been skyrocketing. Bob is married to another KC expat, Patty, and they have three adult children, and three grandsons. Bob has been overseeing the growth of the sport, and is amazed at the generosity of the players and the venues all around Sydney. He looks forward to years more growth as each week we get new venues or new players. He is a grateful man.
Pickleball has changed my life in so many ways. I’ve been fortunate that my creative PB content (videos, photos and blogging) has been used by Engage Pickleball, US Open Pickleball Championships, US Open Pickleball Academy, the Pickleball Channel, the International Federation of Pickleball, Pickleball Global, IPTPA and Pickleball Radio News. I’m a IPTPA Level 2 Certified Pro.