Life Time Launching Kids Pickleball Programming in Collaboration with DUPR, Introducing the Next Generation to the Sport

15 September 2023

Life Time (NYSE: LTH), a leading healthy lifestyle brand and the largest provider of pickleball courts, programming, and leagues in the United States, has announced a partnership with DUPR (Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating) to introduce new junior pickleball programming. This initiative aims to introduce more children to the rapidly growing sport of pickleball.

In a time when 70% of children cease participating in sports by the age of 13 (National Alliance for Youth Sports), Life Time's innovative junior curriculum focuses on fostering a love for the game through enjoyable practice sessions rather than traditional drills and lessons that children may find tedious. The program will involve round-robin games each week, emphasizing game-specific skills, age-appropriate development, and life lessons within a supportive and emotionally safe learning environment.

This unique pickleball curriculum, developed by Life Time and supported by DUPR's technical and shared marketing expertise, represents a significant step in cultivating the next generation of pickleball players. The program will be available for children as young as four years old.

Ajay Pant, Life Time's Vice President of Racquet Sports, expressed pride in launching the first junior pickleball pathway using Life Time's established destinations. He noted that Life Time has a strong track record of instilling a lifelong love for racquet sports through programs like SMART junior tennis and is now applying its expertise to create similar joy in young athletes participating in pickleball.

Beginning on October 2nd, Life Time will introduce junior pickleball programming at its Minnesota locations with pickleball courts, with plans to expand this offering to its entire network of athletic country clubs featuring pickleball by the end of the year.

David McCune, Executive Director of DUPR, highlighted the program's focus on fair, level-based play and emphasized its potential as the first step for children aspiring to play professionally, from junior competitions to College National Championships, Minor Leagues, and Major League Pickleball, all within the Life Time ecosystem.

Life Time has a strategic alliance with DUPR and has adopted its official rating system across all Life Time clubs that offer pickleball.

Since early 2022, Life Time has been rapidly constructing indoor and outdoor pickleball courts, averaging five new permanent courts each week. These courts often include viewing areas, stadium seating, and social lounges. Life Time aims to have 1,000 pickleball courts in operation by the end of 2024, establishing itself as the largest owner and operator of both pickleball and indoor tennis courts.