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S10 Episode 03: Why Players Love Pickleball - a Healthy Sport

Physical therapist Mary Rachford and occupational therapist Dina Kartsonas explain health benefits of pickleball and why they enjoy playing.

Mary Rachford, PT - owner of Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers NapervilleDina Kartsonas, OTR/L - owner of Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers Naperville 

This episode is part of Series 10: Pickleball in the Parks.  For a list of ParkTalk episodes and series and to submit ideas and questions, visit

Quotes from the episode:

“The sport for me covers so many wonderful things. You’re looking at cardiovascular fitness and brain health; agility, hand-eye-coordination and balance—all the stuff that is really important as we age. And the socializing with other players is another draw to the sport. In fact, they are saying that pickleball is one of the latest up and coming anti-aging sports. And I have to agree.”  - Dina

“Pickleball is played on a smaller court than tennis, but it’s a quicker game and definitely a cardiovascular workout. For me, I thought it would be easy to play without a warmup—big mistake! To prevent muscle soreness, I recommend wearing court shoes (not running shoes) and compression socks and doing both an active warmup before going out on the court and stretching after you play.” –Mary

You can find the pickleball warmup exercises and stretches that Mary and Dina have posted on their website at

Naperville Park District's first dedicated outdoor pickleball courts at Nike Sports Complex; ribbon cutting took place in October 2018.

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On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
© 2021 Naperville Park District