Mark Ellis

Board Member

My family and I have been Stafford County residents since 2001.  I played tennis as a youth through my high school years but transitioned to racquetball upon arriving in Utah in December 1976, because the tennis courts were covered with snow.   I played racquetball on and off over the years but stopped playing in 2003.  Upon reaching age 65, I retired from active employment in June 2021, and started looking for sports activities I could share with Lynn, my wife.  In late 2021, I was watching YouTube, and suddenly appeared in my feed a video about a Pro Pickleball tournament.    Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered something about Pickleball, but it was senior citizens that can’t play more active racquet sports like tennis or racquetball, right?  Was I ever wrong!  I watched the video, which highlighted a 14-year-old female Pro Pickleball player named Anna Leigh Waters, who definitely was not a senior citizen and is the acknowledged top female Pickleball player in the world.  Intrigued about this thing called Pickleball, I convinced my wife to give it a try.  We signed up for Pickleball lessons through Stafford County Parks and Recs, and like many in our area, were introduced to the sport by Lorraine Walton, Pickleball Instructor Extraordinaire( thank you, Lorraine!).  I was hooked.  I play regularly in rec play on various courts in Stafford and Fredericksburg, and recently ventured into tournament play (a very humbling experience so far).

As I sought out places to play, I quickly realized there are not enough area courts to meet the needs of Pickleballers when they want to play, where they want to play, and who they want to play with.  I joined the SFS PC to support the club’s goals of growing the sport in our area and to advocate for additional Pickleball courts and programs for players of all ages and abilities.  As the club’s Vice President for External Relations, I look forward to hearing from you, and then helping the SFS PC articulate and advocate on your behalf to elected, government, and citizen leaders in our area.  You can reach me at (703) 376-4150 or via