Lynn Pierle was elected in June 2021 as President of the Port Townsend Pickleball Club. The following article was written under her then title as Port Townsend Pickleball Local Ambassador. Lynn recently dropped her role as ambassador so she could spend her time and energy focused as President. If you are interested in becoming a Pickleball Ambassador contact https://usapickleball.org/.
( Recent Photo taken on pickleball court at Cape George Port Townsend WA ).
Lynn Pierle has been the Port Townsend Pickleball Ambassador since May, 2019. So what does that mean? What does a pickleball ambassador do?
Ambassadors are affiliated with the national organization of pickleball, USA Pickleball, and “are volunteers who have pledged to promote the sport of pickleball and the USA Pickleball in the local area that they represent,” according to the USA Pickleball website. Basically they work with communities to introduce and grow the sport of pickleball.
When Lynn first applied to be the Ambassador, she was asked to explain what she hoped to accomplish. First and foremost, she saw the need to organize the current pickleball players in the area into a formal club. The club, she thought, would galvanize the players to support common goals, like increasing the number of places to play pickleball. It would present a unified force for negotiating with public entities, like city and county governments, and private non-profits.
Within a couple of months, in the summer of 2019, Port Townsend Pickleball Club was established and received its non-profit status as a 501c3. Lynn remembers its germination, a breakfast meeting at a local restaurant with now President Mary Critchlow and District Ambassador Kathy Thomas. A Steering Committee was formed, and soon after, it morphed into a Founding Board of Directors, which manages the Club and its activities. The membership has grown into more than 100, in spite of the pandemic. Initially, Lynn served as the Board secretary because there was a need there. In 2020, she stepped aside as an officer but remains on the Board as Ambassador and serves in an advisory, non-voting role.
The work of the Board is still just beginning as the pandemic has slowed the Club’s operations, and Lynn looks forward to the Club’s continuing efforts to grow pickleball in the county. Lynn sees her job now as helping where needed. She recently headed a committee to develop a Strategic Plan for the Club which she hopes will be approved by the Board next month. She maintains her close ties to the Club, for as she views it, “The Club’s goals are also my goals as Ambassador.”
Most pickleball folks don’t even know that there is a local Ambassador in Port Townsend and East Jefferson County. In addition to offering organizational support to PTPC, Lynn brings mediation and facilitation skills to the table. She has been a volunteer with the Peninsula Dispute Resolution Center as a mediator since 2007. She is happy to offer her help in resolving conflicts in the community. “Fortunately,” she said, “I haven’t seen much need for this among the picklers. They’re a pretty agreeable bunch.”
Lynn was first introduced to the game of pickleball in the early 90’s. A high school English teacher at The Overlake School in Redmond, she and three other colleagues would show up at 6:30 am on Fridays to play pickleball in the gym before classes. (Yes, pickleball was part of the PE curriculum even back then – getting pickleball into the PE curriculum here in Port Townsend is another of her goals.) However, she did not become passionate about the sport until her neighborhood, Cape George, installed a pickleball court in 2012. “That was all she wrote,” Lynn chuckled. Since then Lynn plays several days a week, has participated in numerous tournaments, and occasionally offers instruction in the game. “I want people to love the game as much as I do,” she said.
In addition to pickleball, Lynn has various other interests. She retired from her position as Upper School Head at Overlake in 2007 and moved to Port Townsend. She then assumed a number of post-retirement jobs, first as Community Solutions Manager at United Way of Clallam County, then as a staff member at Discovery Bay Golf Course, working in the pro shop and managing their website and email list. Golf is her other sport, and Thursdays during the season, when she plays golf with the Women’s Club, are sacrosanct.
Currently, Lynn runs an Airbnb apartment in her home. “That’s my mad money, which allows me to follow another dream – traveling to different places around the world,” she mused. So far in her “retirement,” Lynn has traveled to Belize (twice), Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, and Mexico (often). A culinary trip to southern France is planned for “when we can travel abroad again.”
As the country and the county emerge from the pandemic, Lynn is grateful that she has been able to play pickleball, outdoors and within her bubble. “It has really kept me sane in the midst of all of this fear and chaos. Obviously, I have missed seeing and hugging my kids [Lynn has two adult children, Chris of Kirkland and Sarah of Portland], but this time has also made me realize how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place, surrounded by wonderful friends, many of whom I have met playing pickleball.”
Lynn in Machu Picchu in Peru, taken in 2017
We gratefully accept donations in support of our operations and building fund. Your donations are tax deductible. Thank You!
We are a 501C non-profit corporation. Your donations are tax deductible.