ST. JOSEPH, Ill. (WCIA) — The sport of pickleball is growing in popularity across the country and St. Joseph joined the trend over the weekend.

The village hosted its first ever St. Joseph Pickleball Open, featuring players from Homer, Broadlands and the village itself. Community members paired in teams of two to play against each other and awards were handed out for each set of games.

Event coordinator Jeremy Yohnka said he began playing pickleball 20 years ago and is excited to see the sport getting the attention it deserves.

“Some of these people I would have never met, and they’re just awesome. They’re fun to play with, we joke around and we give each other a hard time, but we’re also competitive,” Yohnka said. “We give each other pointers and tips, I’m always sharing videos and other people are finding videos like how to improve your game and everything. We all just want to get better and it’s a lot of fun.”

Yohnka said the village is planning another event in the upcoming months, followed by a mega pickleball open next spring.