As a prelude to the Des Plaines Pickleball Tournament which has been scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Apr. 28 and 29, at Prairie Lakes Community Center, the Des Plaines Park District is hosting an instructional Pickleball clinic from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22.

Targeted to intermediate and advanced players, the clinic will be conducted by Laura Fenton Kovanda and will include techniques, drills and play with Fenton who is a three-time U.S. Open Gold Medalist and one of the top teaching professionals in America. To register, visit Registration forms will also be available at the Prairie Lakes Community Center, 515 E. Thacker, Des Plaines, and at the Administrative & Leisure Center, 2222 Birch St., Des Plaines.

Fast becoming one of America's most popular and rapidly growing sports among all ages, Pickleball was once a popular alternative to tennis and racquetball as players aged. Today, the 2.6 million Pickleball players in the United States and elsewhere today range in age from 12 to 85.

The Des Plaines tournament winners will be invited to participate in the World Team Pickleball Sectional Tournament at Canlan Sportsplex in Lake Barrington, IL on June 1-3, 2018. Details on signing up for the Lake Barrington tournament will be announced in March. The Lake Barrington tournament is the first among a countrywide series of tournaments leading up to a championship in January, 2019.

Fenton, a top professional player and certified instructor as well as the owner of World Team Pickleball, will host additional clinics at Lake Barrington Canlan Sportsplex on Feb. 21, 22 and 23. Advanced beginners are scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.; Thursday, Feb. 22, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.; and Friday, Feb. 23 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Intermediates are scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and Friday, Feb. 23 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. A clinic for advanced players will be Thursday, Feb. 22 from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

The Lake Barrington clinics are $40 per person and three clinics for $100. Different areas will be covered in each clinic.

For more information on the clinics or tournaments including sponsorship opportunities, call Dick Barton at 847-720-4495 or visit World Team Pickleball at .