IN THE SPOTLIGHT MALINDA HEBERT

MALINDA HEBERT

Malinda Hebert is a petite bundle of energy that even as I sat down with her for this interview a half dozen new ideas popped into her head.

Along with Sharon Anderson, Malinda has been the Senior Games Pickleball Convenor for the past 4 years. She took up the sport of Pickleball in November 2014 and 9 months later she participated in the Provincial Summer Games held in Windsor. Along with her Pickleball partner John Vlcek she won the Silver Medal in Mixed 55+ and she has been accumulating medals ever since.

She is the “idea” person, a talent that served her well when she worked in Marketing and Sales at the Windsor Star. It was a job she loved and she was able to take that expertise and direct it towards growing the sport of Pickleball in our region. She not only focuses on Senior Games, but wants to see Pickleball courts available in all areas of Essex County and also be available for all age groups. She tells me that she is very good at spotting talent and she has surrounded herself with a very talented core group.

Her latest initiatives are with Tecumseh Pickleball and Windsor Essex Pickleball (you can find links to these websites in our links page). Along with her dedicated team, she is working hard to realize the construction of 10, state of the art, outdoor courts at Lacasse Park in Tecumseh. Even before they are built she has sent a letter of intent to OSGA, lobbying for the Provincial Senior Games to come back to Windsor. Thinking small is not in her realm of possibility. Did I mention she is also the Ambassador of Pickleball Ontario?

In between all this work, she somehow still finds time to enjoy playing the sport she loves. Along with partner Karen Hill she qualified to play in the USAP Nationals at Indian Wells, California this November. They will be competing in the 4.5 Women’s 65+ division. Good luck ladies, we are rooting for you.

A 12 handicap golfer and ranked racquetball player, she did and still does it all. But there is a certain gleam in her eye that appears when she starts talking about her family. Her husband Ron, whom she cajoles into taking pictures at tournaments and her sons Michael and Bob. She also smiles from ear to ear when talking about her 2 year old granddaughter Annabelle and the grandchild that is due in February.

She has been in the forefront of the explosion that is Pickleball. It was her innovative ideas like “Battle of the Mayors” and “Battle of the Councillors” that have introduced Pickleball to the influencers that can help her achieve her lofty goals. To say I’m a big fan of Malinda’s is an understatement. To have her involved in Senior Games is our good fortune.

Editor: Daphne Micallef Reid