There is a new game called PaddleZlam, using pickleball paddles and balls along with plastic cones. it is a team game, and a team of schools in Newton and Maize are working at sending the game to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.
"It is a fun way to get people to run," said Robert DiGiacomo, president of Active Sports.
In the game two teams comprised of two people compete in hitting a pickleball into or against a plastic cone. Points are scored based on where the ball lands — if it hits the cone or enters one of two openings on the cone.
Three USD 373 elementary schools are working with Maize South Middle School to send gym equipment to schools in Puerto Rico that were hit by Hurricane Maria. Northridge, Sunset and Walton will be raising funds to buy PaddleZlam sets.
The partnership between the two districts was created by Maize South Middle Physical Education teacher Brandon Wolff and USD 373 Physical Education teacher Mario Nava.
“We want to teach kids it feels good to help others," said Mario Nava, physical education teacher at Northridge, Walton and Sunset elementaries. “We are hoping it will be a life lesson for them.”
PaddleZlam is a game that can be played anywhere. Promotional videos of the game by Active Sports show the game being played at the beach.
"You can play it at the park, in the back yard, it is great for tailgating. It is the ultimate anywhere game," DiGiacomo said.
Each set costs about $60 from paddlezlam.com.
To raise the money in USD 373, Nava will be donating some of the funds raised at his annual fundraiser on March 1. Nava hosts fun nights at the schools for third and fourth-grade students along with fun mornings for kindergarten through second-grade students. The fundraiser has a variety of fun activities for the elementary school children including bounce houses and a chance to play PaddleZlam themselves.
The funds raised are normally spent on new equipment for the district. A portion of those sales will also be donated for equipment.
This is Maize South Middle School’s second fundraiser for physical education equipment for Puerto Rico. Equipment will be delivered to between 10 and 15 schools in March.