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by Kelly Campbell 

Happy International Women’s Day! 

March is Women’s History Month –– a time to highlight the contributions of women throughout history. Celebrated on March 8 each year, International Women’s Day honors the achievements of women, encourages an increase in awareness of oppression, and galvanizes the world to fight for women’s equality. 

Today and every day, it’s important to celebrate strong women and promote gender equality. This International Women’s Day, TrackitHub is highlighting some incredible women trailblazers who have transformed pickleball and helped make the sport what it is today. 

Women in Pickleball

Since its inception, pickleball has always been a co-ed sport. Unlike other mainstream sports, where women have been restricted and suppressed, pickleball has always been accessible to everyone. 

Women dominate the pickleball world, and there are numerous organizations that are dedicated to ensuring that women pickleball players have equitable representation and the same opportunities as male players. The Women’s International Pickleball Association makes it their mission to empower and propel women in pickleball. The Women’s Power Pickleball League ensures that women’s social and physical health are supported while playing pickleball. Both organizations sponsor tournaments and events as well as foundations and projects that increase pickleball accessibility. 

Not only have women always been playing pickleball –– they’ve been absolutely crucial in leading the pickleball boom since the beginning. Many of the most well-known and successful pickleball organizations are founded or run by women, including Nettie, The Pickler, Pickleball Central, DUPR, and more. The work put into pickleball development off the court by women entrepreneurs is one of the main reasons that pickleball has been the fastest-growing sport in the US for years.  

Women Pickleball Trailblazers

These women are pickleball icons whose contributions have been crucial to pickleball’s growth over the years. 

Anna Leigh Waters

Anna Leigh Waters is one of the best pickleball players in the world. She went pro at only 12 years old, and at 16 she is in the Top 5 players in the world for women’s professional pickleball. She won her first gold medal at the 2021 Orlando Cup and continues to be an inspiration for women in pickleball for her incredible skills. 

Melissa McCurley

Melissa McCurley is the President of, one of the most impactful pickleball organizations to date. Melissa McCurley acquired the company from founders Bob and Jettye Lanius in 2014. McCurley’s contributions helped flourish and revolutionize the sport of pickleball. The site is an online software system that manages pickleball tournament registration and tournament management. 

Stacie Townsend

Stacie Townsend is most well-known as the founder of the pickleball brand Pickler, which began as a website for pickleball-specific attire. Pickler is now a platform for pickleball education and advocacy and even hosts a pickleball podcast. Townsend has also written numerous pickleball books, including The Pickleball Mental Edge. She is also a professional pickleball champion.

Rachel Simon, Author of “Pickleball for All”

In addition to her dinking skills as a pickleball player, Rachel Simon makes a pickleball impact by writing about the sport. She is known as a sports author for multiple popular pickleball books, including Pickleball for All: Everything But the “Kitchen” Sink. Her writing helps spread awareness of pickleball, connects picklers, and provides information about pickleball to both pickleball beginners and experts. 

Jill Braverman, CEO of DUPR

Jill Braverman is a pickleball leader who has contributed to the sport both on and off the court. As a professional player, Braverman has won numerous medals and tournaments. She is also the CEO of Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating (DUPR), a standardized pickleball ratings system, and more recently has stepped on as the Chief of Staff at Major League Pickleball (MLP), a team competition where top men and women pro pickleball players are drafted by team owners. As a key stakeholder at two incredibly popular pickleball organizations, her daily contributions to pickleball are measured by the increase in MLP investments and growth of DUPR. 

Frances (Fran) Myer

Avid pickler Fran Myer is known for creating one of the first informational pickleball websites, complete with rules, tips, and tournaments. The website evolved into the first pickleball retail website ever. The 1999 site sold pickleball gear across the country and around the world from nearly all manufacturers available at the time. 

Jennifer Lucore

Jennifer Lucore is known as pickleball’s first “sponsored” player when she was sponsored by Pickleball-Inc. She is a talented pickleball player, writer, influencer, and historian. She began playing in 2007 and is a multiple-time pickleball gold medalist. Lucore also served as the USAPA newsletter publisher and wrote the first pickleball history book, History of Pickleball: More Than 50 Years of Fun!

Anna Copley 

Anna Copley is the co-founder of Pickleball Central, one of the largest and most well-known organizations in pickleball. Pickleball Central, launched in 2006, serves as the largest online pickleball equipment reseller in the world. Pickleball Central currently holds over 500 distribution, facility, and industry partners and previously acquired Pickle-Ball Inc.,,, and their respective software. In early 2022, Tom Dundon purchased Pickleball Central, and the company has continued to evolve over the last year. 

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