The Hot Springs Village Pickleball Club established The Dee Vincent Award in 2017, to honor long time Village resident Dee Vincent for her services to our Club and to the sport of Pickleball.
In 2006, Dee, along with husband Joe, returned from Happy Trails, Arizona, with the then new sport of Pickleball. With a handful of devotees, Dee pioneered Pickleball here in Hot Springs Village. She and her small army of followers secured the temporary use of one tennis court, bought nets and other equipment, and set about developing the game.
Each play date required them to tape the lines on the tennis court, set up portable nets, provide equipment and show new players how the game was to be played. On completion of play, all signs that Pickleball had intruded on tennis had to be removed – until the next play day.
Dee also became an agent for a Pickleball equipment manufacturer, and arranged for paddles to be available to new players. At no time did she ever keep any of the profits from that enterprise, as every cent made was channeled back into growing the Club.
Dee’s absolute dedication to – and her faith in – the sport of Pickleball, here in Hot Springs Village, coupled with her tenacity, her determination and her willingness to overcome whatever objection, obstacle and opposition was placed in her way, is what grew our Club from one tennis court with taped-on lines, into the complex we now have – 14 courts, a dedicated Clubhouse and 7 courts LED lit for night play.
We give thanks to Dee Vincent for her forward thinking, her fierce determination and her vision, in growing our sport here in Hot Springs Village, and we offer this Award to our Membership as something to which they can aspire with their own meritorious service to our Club.
The Hot Springs Village Pickleball Club is proud to announce that one of Dee’s early devotees of the game, the late George Johnson, is the first recipient of The Dee Vincent Award.
George’s devotion to the game along with his hard work and willingness to welcome, train and encourage new players, met all the standards necessary to receive this Award.