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  • Writer's pictureKristin Guglietti

The wait is over Pickleball courts finally in play at Middle School

Kristin Guglietti/THG A ribbon cutting ceremony for the tennis/pickleball courts was held at Hammonton Middle School on Aug. 12. Pictured (l-r) Public Works Manager Robert Vettese, Board of Education Member Kelli Fallon, Board of Education Member Barbara Berenato, American Athletic Courts Contractor Lee Narozanick, Business Administrator Barbara Prettyman, Councilman Thomas Gribbin, Councilman Jonathan Oliva, Councilman Steven Furgione, Parks and Recreation Chairperson Louis Cappuccio and Parks and Recreation Member Ian Fisher.

The tennis/pickleball courts at Hammonton Middle School are officially open.

Parks and Recreation leader Denise Mazzeo, speaking after the ribbon-cutting event at 75 N. Liberty Street on August 12, said the need for pickleball courts was brought to her department’s attention sometime in 2020-2021.

“Everybody has started playing and it’s been a craze everywhere nationwide, so people wanted somewhere to play, and we talked about how we’d be able to give them that option,” Mazzeo said. “The planning stages started right away. It just took some time between 2021 coming out of COVID-19 and everything to get the designs done, get the funding and to figure it all out.”

She said it is important for residents to have a place to play pickleball where they live.

“I’m really excited that the project is complete. I love that everyone’s starting to play. I hope they have a great time today,” she said.

Mazzeo said if anyone has concerns or questions on things the Parks and Recreation Commission can improve on, they should reach out.

“I would love for people to be able to feel like they have a voice, if they feel there’s some way we can improve,” she said. Mazzeo can be reached via the town’s website at

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Councilman Thomas Gribbin gave special thanks to Mazzeo, Public Works manager Robert Vettese, Parks and Recreation chairperson Louis Cappuccio and councilman Jonathan Oliva.

“We want to welcome everybody to the opening of the Hammonton pickleball and tennis courts and thank everybody for their patience and their input in helping us design this,” Gribbin said. “It has been a passion of members of this town council and our mayor to expand recreation opportunities in Hammonton and we continue to seek new opportunities to do so.”

Oliva said recreation is not just ballfields and playground equipment, but also includes active and passive recreation such as the tennis/pickleball courts, walking trails, hiking trails and biking trails.

“I’m very excited as we reopen what were our tennis courts and what is now our dual-purpose pickleball and tennis courts today,” Oliva said. “I’m very appreciative for Hammonton Town Council’s foresight to improve recreation in our community, and this is just one of the projects that you’re going to see over the course of the next number of years,” Oliva said.

“Look forward to new projects as we extend our biking trail from 11th Street, as well as new improvements to Hammonton Lake Park over the next number of years. I’d like to thank the Hammonton public school board for partnering with us to make this project possible, the Parks and Rec Commission for their conscious desire and work to improve recreation in our community, as well as both the pickleball and tennis community for providing us with a lot of feedback,” Oliva said.

Gribbin then thanked the members of the school board for their cooperation in the project.

Board of Education member Kelli Fallon was also thankful.

“We just want to thank the town for partnering with us,” she said. “I can personally say 25 years ago, I played on these courts,” Fallon said.

She thanked Robert Capoferri who volunteered to resurface the courts 25 years ago.

“Mr. Capoferri 25 years-ish ago volunteered to resurface these courts so the girls and the boys would have tennis courts to play on, and I’ll never forget that,” Fallon said.


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