Posted on October 19, 2022

Pickleball Legend Leads Clinic for Adaptive Athletes on World Pickleball Day

Pickleball, the fastest growing sport in the world, has made its way to wheelchair and adaptive athletes in Grand Rapids.

October 10 was World Pickleball Day, and a legend of the sport paid Grand Rapids a visit to host an adaptive pickleball clinic with Mary Free Bed for athletes with disabilities.

The legend was Seymour Rifkind, or just ‘Rif.’ And he was pickleball before pickleball was pickleball!

Rif is president and founder of the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association. He also serves as president of the Pickleball Hall of Fame. After retiring from a career in marketing and communications, Rif devoted his life to sharing his love of pickleball and helping to grow the sport. Besides his leadership in the sport, he’s also pretty good at the game. Rif has multiple medals at the U.S. Open Pickleball Championship, as well as other regional & national tournaments

Rif kicked off his visit with a tour of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and met with staff from the Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports program. Then he traveled to MVP Athletic Club Crahen, where he led an adaptive pickleball clinic with both wheelchair and able-bodied participants.

Learn more about Mary Free Bed’s Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Program and other upcoming clinics.

Here from Rif and organizers of the event in a Facebook Live video.

Media coverage of the event included:

See some photos of the clinic in the photos below: