Local is making push for pickleball in Olympics

A friend, Bobby Frederick, introduced John Gill to Pickleball in February 2020, and having played tennis most of his life, John was instantly hooked.

Seal Beach resident and Hapkido and Taekwondo instructor John Gill is now making a pitch to take America’s fastest growing  sport, Pickleball, to the Olympics in Australia in 2032. John, a native Australian, moved permanently to America in January 2020 with his American wife, Victoria.

He was about to begin a job teaching Hapkido and Taekwondo at the Beverly Hills karate academy when COVID hit and indoor sports were no longer available. A friend, Bobby Frederick, introduced John to Pickleball in February 2020, and having played tennis most of his life, John was instantly hooked.

“Pickleball is so much fun, great exercise, extremely social, and usually outdoors,” John said.

John got his start playing Pickleball at the local Seal Beach Tennis and Pickleball Center and  also played with local player Mike Wooten on the Marina Park courts when they opened.

Pickleball quickly became a passion. John played nonstop for the next few years and is committed to spreading the sport’s joy, exercise benefits, and camaraderie. As the founder of the World Pickleball Association LLC, John has successfully organized 14 tournaments over the last year, eight of them have been in Southern California.

Also in late 2020 John also put together USA’s first city vs city league and the six teams were Seal Beach, Long Beach, Newport beach, South Bay LA and two teams from Huntington Beach. In the recent Los Angeles Championships, Marina Park regulars, Ted Chen and Kelly Woodrum, were the Los Angeles Championships silver medalists in Mixed Doubles 3.5 over-50 Division and John won the 4.0 and above Mens singles and along with another local, Lesley Hawkes, was silver medalists in the 4.0 and above 50 + mixed doubles on May 14 in neighboring Long Beach. John has become a certified Pickleball instructor with PPR and IPTPA .

John is working on taking his events overseas, particularly to Australia and Asia and then UK and Europe and working hard to get Pickleball as an Olympic sport by the 2032 Australian Games. In addition to being a passionate Pickleball advocate, John serves as an ambassador for DUPR (Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating), offering beginner-friendly tournaments called “Pickle N Pizza.”

These inclusive, community-oriented events aim to draw newcomers into the sport, providing a fun, friendly, and delicious introduction to the game. Seal Beach residents can get involved/try out ‘Pickle N Pizza’ by contacting John directly at 424-702-9337.

John is also a world-renowned World Martial arts champion (8th Dan-Bo Blackbelt in Hapkido and 7th Dan Blackbelt in Taekwondo), Australian Tennis Champion, and more recently, a Pickleball Champion, winning many medals in tournaments since 2020. He has played in almost 200 tournament matches over the last two years. John Gill, better known as “Aussie John,” has a dream and a drive to bring Pickleball to the global stage of the 2032 Olympics in his home country, Australia.

To get more details, help with the Pickleball to the Olympics effort, or join this tour visit theworldpickleballassociation.com/tours or email to info@theworldpickleballassociation.com.