Break the Love x Walmart Brings Pickleball to Communities Across Texas
Pickleball is taking over across the US, and Texas is no exception. However, for players new to the sport, figuring out where to start can be challenging. Where do you go to find affordable pickleball clubs? Break the Love CEO Trisha Goyal felt the same way.
“I wanted to play a sport like I did back in high school and realized that the only two options that I had were to join a pricey club, or go to Facebook groups, find strangers, and just hope to find a court to play on.”
Her realization that access to recreational racquet sports was pricey and exclusive led Trisha to create Break the Love, a new kind of Racquet club working to eliminate barriers to recreational sports like tennis and pickleball and provide new digital ways to plan your next game! The website gives members a new way to find free-to-join racquet clubs based on location, skill level, and interest with the goal of connecting and building communities through sport.
“We really wanted to create this online digital one-stop shop, racquet sports club to democratize access and really try to break down barriers to [country club sports] like tennis and pickleball. [We want] the everyday consumer who doesn’t already have [a place] to play, [to] find their place through us through our online racquet sports clubs.”
Break the Love x Walmart
Now, Break the Love has teamed up with Walmart to bring pickleball to communities across the U.S. so they can have fun and connect with others through accessible recreational sports. All players need to do is upload a Walmart receipt or be a Walmart+ member to unlock access to free pickleball court time, classes, and competitions in 11 states, including Texas. To celebrate, Break the Love x Walmart is hosting a series of free pickleball community events in 10 cities and the first event was at Bouldin Acres in Austin, Texas.
The two-day event had two pickleball courts, fun yard games, food trucks, drinks, and covered patio space to cool off and watch the matches. Players could use the Break the Love website to schedule a court time to play and while they waited enjoy food and drinks with their friends.
“The magic is in the community and the people. We created a really inclusive environment for any level player to come out and play or learn at the same time and connect with their community offline. We always started with these community events, [and] I think what makes our events special is the type of person that’s coming, someone who really wants to connect with other people regardless of their level, regardless of background, and they are trying to meet new people.”
What’s Next for Break the Love?
Racquet clubs are only the beginning. With their mission of creating an easy digital way to join sports clubs and find communities, Break the Love’s future goals include bringing access to other recreational sports to their players.
“We have this vision to expand into other sport categories outside of racquet sports later this year. We want to take what we’ve done in racquet sports and continue to grow access to that, but also continue to grow access to recreational sports- and that can be racquet sports, or another sport. Whether you grew up with a sport or not, we believe everybody has an inner athlete in them.”
In Texas, Break the Love currently has racquet clubs in Houston and Dallas, and through August, players can book courts in San Antonio, Rockwall, and Fort Worth through Break the Love x Walmart. But this was just the beginning of Break the Love in Austin, with future plans to do more in the community and bring the joy of recreational pickleball to more people.
“I believe pickleball is a huge growth opportunity for everyone because anyone can play, all ages, all levels, and I think pickleball as a sport category is just at the beginning. We’ve heard so many stories about how people have found their best friend or their roommate, or have lost weight from playing pickleball. Pickleball has changed peoples lives fundamentally and we really believe that pickleball is the next great American story.”
All images from Austin event courtesy of Break the Love.