Did you know that out of all the adult sports in the USA, pickleball is growing the quickest?
Avid pickleball players Jackie Freeman & Karen Worthy knew their favourite sport was on the rise and wanted to bring it to the younger generation in the form of a children’s book: Bend Your Knees, Louise!
With hardly any books about pickleball available for young children, Jackie & Karen decided to combine their love for pickleball with their love for teaching and publish their very own pickleball primer.
However, Jackie & Karen’s brand new children’s book is about so much more than sports -- it’s also about bringing generations together. Though the book is written for children aged 4-11 years old, Jackie & Karen hope that their readers’ parents will also learn that you’re never too old to learn something new. Jackie & Karen want to bring pickleball to the whole family, so they can grow and learn together.
They saw this mission in action as they read their book over the phone to Laura Ganor, the director of media relations for the USA Pickleball Association. Unaware that Laura’s young children were listening in, Jackie & Karen were pleasantly surprised when they heard Laura’s children enthusiastically affirm their story. They LOVED the rhymes!
It was then that Jackie & Karen knew they were onto something.
Watch the Full Interview:
Through the publishing process, Jackie & Karen learned that publishing your own children’s book takes a whole team of talented people -- editors, illustrators, designers, and of course, writers. Jackie & Karen found a lot of support through the Publishing Mastermind, where they got the opportunity to connect with other authors around the world and share their writing journey.
In only a year, Jackie & Karen had published their first ever children’s book and accomplished their dreams of becoming published authors. And, they offer some great advice for those looking to do the same:
“Believe in your story!”
Bend Your Knees, Louise! started as an idea on the pickleball court and transformed into a published best-selling children’s book, all because Jackie & Karen believed in their story. Now, they have the joy of sharing their favourite sport with children everywhere as they discover exactly how rewarding it is to become published authors.
Jackie is a writer, vocalist and avid reader, words have always been part of her life. She’s discovered as she traveled the world, there is no place like home on the farm. The sixty acres of rolling farmland provide inspiration and solace. Learning to play the sport of pickleball during a challenging time in her life, Jackie discovered a new group of friends, and an opportunity to do something exclusively for herself that promoted a happy, can-do outlook. She embraces the adage: You are NEVER too old to learn something new!
When Karen isn’t on the pickleball court, she enjoys golfing and riding her bike. She knows staying fit is important to maintaining good control over her Type 1 diabetes. Karen and her husband, Scott, love to travel both domestically and internationally. With only a few states left in completing their 50-state bucket list this year, COVID-19 put a stop to it for now, but there is always next year. And who knows, they may find a pickleball tournament to compete in during their travels.