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About GGP

Dinkin' in the Fog

Our History

THE BEGINNING: The Golden Gate Pickleball “Club” was formed by three pickleball friends having lunch at Boulevard Café on October 17, 2016. One of them said they wanted to create a club representing the entire San Francisco Bay Area and the others agreed. They had already seen the explosion of pickleball and were way ahead of the curve, and helped to establish the only free, dedicated pickleball courts in San Francisco. Those courts, at Louis Sutter Playground in McLaren Park, are now the home courts of The Golden Gate Pickleball Foundation. The small club quickly grew to 100 members. In November of 2017, the club became a not-for-profit entity, and between 2017 and 2019, it held small tournaments and hosted a few club events. THE TRANSITION: Unfortunately, when the pandemic hit in 2020, the club was forced to suspend operations. However, after a two-year hiatus, the Golden Gate Pickleball Club reactivated operations. At the end of 2021 a new governing board of directors was formed, which included Tanya Slesnick, Shelly Thomas and Todd High. They hosted two small tournaments and a member gathering. With the success of those events, membership grew to over 200. THE PRESENT: In December of 2022, the original club founders officially stepped down and handed over all control and operations of the Golden Gate Pickleball Club 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation to Tanya Slesnick and Shelly Thomas as Co-Presidents. At this time a new Executive Leadership Board was created along with new Leadership Advisors who adopted the current Mission Statement for the organization. In February of 2023 the newly reorganized club hosted GGP’s first major sanctioned tournament. Since San Francisco does not have any pickleball facilities large enough to accommodate this scale of a tournament it was held in the city of Concord at a facility which could accommodate 24 courts. The tournament quickly filled up with 300 players, requiring the club to close registration a month early and maintain a long waiting list. The tournament holds the designation of being the largest tournament held at the Concord venue at the time and became a model for what was possible. To follow up on the success of this tournament GGP hosted a Battle of the Bay tournament at Louis Sutter in March of 2023. San Francisco won by one point! In May 2023, the GGPC Executive Board voted to change the name of Golden Gate Pickleball “Club” to Golden Gate Pickleball “Foundation” and began doing business as Golden Gate Pickleball and GGP while retaining all rights to the use of the name ‘Golden Gate Pickleball “Club”, GGPC and its current logo. In October 2023 GGP hosted the first ever USAPA sanctioned tournament to be held in San Francisco at CCSF, City College with over 200 participants. GGP again set itself apart as a leader in the growth of pickleball in the Bay Area region, by hosting tournaments that are more than just pickleball. They are community building events, with raffles, free food, prizes, clinics, entertainment, and of course, pickleball played at its highest amateur levels. We continue to grow the organization with innovative programs and well-attended tournaments. Check out our calendar page for upcoming events and clinics. GGPC developed and hosted other popular events, including the first ever local MLP-style tournament. Since then, other clubs throughout the Bay Area have jumped on the bandwagon and held MLP-style events of their own. THE FUTURE: The current year looks very bright to GGP! We are growing our Youth Committee and Youth Grant program to get pickleball into schools and are sponsoring youth summer camps. We are hosting & sponsoring USAPA certified referee clinics. We have community building events planned, participate in neighborhood block parties, teach clinics with only certified instructors, are developing networks of clubs and organizations around Northern California and have small as well as major tournaments scheduled. In 2023 the Executive Board voted to rebrand the organization with a new logo and website to reflect the broader mission of the Golden Gate Pickleball Foundation rather than its perception as only a small localized grass roots “club”. After several months of design and review with a professional design team, a new contemporary and clear logo and colors were chosen that reflect the restructured organization and our community while avoiding the original logos’ common confusion with the “Golden State Warriors” logo. In January 2024 the new logo was launched. To celebrate the ‘rebirth’ of the Golden Gate Pickleball Foundation and the new era of pickleball in the Bay Area we are hosting the Phoenix Rising USAPA sanctioned tournament on April 5, 6, & 7 2024. As a San Francisco based organization we proudly give homage to our city’s official flag whose symbol is that of a ‘Phoenix Rising’ to represent our founding city being rebuilt after the 1906 Earthquake. We hope to see you there and, on the courts here, there and everywhere!

Meet The Board

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