Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in America and South Jersey towns such as Sea Isle City have built new courts to accommodate the demand.

After the first pickleball courts were built on West Jersey Avenue in 2017, Sea Isle City used the open space on 42nd Place to build more courts that opened in 2021. The Pickleball courts are at the center of the overhauled municipal marina area.

Former Eagles Player Raising Money For Foundation with Pickleball

When former Eagles Player Connor Barwin and his Make The World Better Foundation were looking for new opportunities for events to raise money.  So they turned their attention to the Jersey Shore town off Exit 17 on the Garden State Parkway:

"Jesse Rendell, (Make The World Better Foundation) Executive Director, he spends a ton of time at the (Jersey) Shore and because I've (lived) in the area for a while, I've spent some time at the shore. So Jesse (tells me) 'Hey, people are at the shore and we need to start to tap into what's happening at the shore.'

People know that Sea Isle (City) has these great Pickleball courts. We have some members of our board who live in Sea Isle and they got in contact with the city and put this whole (tournament) together last year. - It just feels like a great way to engage with people at the shore during the summer, bring people together, and have fun (while) raising 50-70 thousand dollars while doing it."

Barwin, who compiled 31.5 Sacks during his 4 seasons playing for Philadelphia, has been living in the Philadelphia area since he retired from the NFL. He currently works for the Eagles as the Head Of Football Development and Strategy.

Former Eagles Linebacker Connor Barwin
Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images

Barwin grew up a Detroit Lions fan, played College Football at the University of Cincinnati, and was selected by the Houston Texans in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. But after playing for four different NFL teams along with his roots being in Detroit, Barwin chose to live in the Philadelphia area:

"When I got to Philly, (the Eagles) gave me a good contract and I decided that I wanted to make this my home. I thought 'I'm so lucky to play in Philly and play for these fans', I felt like I should do something to give back to the community. I've been learning the whole time, the last ten years, how to get things done in (Philadelphia), how to it the right way."

This is high praise for Eagles fans and the Philadelphia region that a guy with Barwin's background says he wants to live, work, and vacation in this area after his playing career.  Jason Kelce, who is also a University of Cincinnati Graduate, is another example of someone not from this area who has planted his roots here.

Connor Barwin explained to 973 ESPN why he started the Make The World Better Foundation and what they have accomplished so far:

"Make The World Better Foundation I started over ten years ago when I started playing for the (Philadelphia) Eagles. We have worked directly with communities to reimage and rebuild their public space. - We are currently working at Vare Recreation Center in Gray's Ferry (section) of southwest (Philadelphia) and we are about to bring online an almost 20 million dollar project we have been working on the last few years which we are really proud of and excited about".

The Vare Recreation Center Project will be the fourth park revitalization by the Make The World Better Foundation the the city of Philadelphia.  On Saturday, June 22nd, the second annual Make The World Better Pickleball Tournament offers players and attendees the opportunity to support this great cause.

There will be an Afterparty with raffle opportunities at the Ludlam Bar and Grill starting at 4 pm (or after the Pickleball Tournament is completed). A short walk from the 42nd Place Pickleball courts, located at the corner of JFK Boulevard and Landis Avenue, after-party tickets are $50 with food and drink included with entry to the event.

Raffle Items at the Make The World Better Pickleball Tournament Afterparty includes:

-Two Different Booze Cruises from Starfish Boats and Cruisin’ Tikis South Jersey
-$2,500 worth of Jewelry from Pandora
-Surfboard from Heritage Surf Shop
-Variety of items provided by the Philadelphia Eagles

To purchase your tickets for the Afterparty, you can click the link here. The Locker Room with Billy Schweim will be broadcasting live from 10 am to 12 pm on 973 ESPN South Jersey from the Sea Isle City Pickleball Courts in support of the Make The World Better Foundation. Learn more about Connor Barwin's Foundation by visiting their website here.

When you visit Sea Isle City this summer, there are some great places to eat on the island. Here is a ranking of the top-rated restaurants at this popular Shore Town:

The Top Rated Restaurants to visit in Sea Isle City, NJ

From Fish Alley to the Nightlife along Landis Avenue to the modernization of Townsend's Inlet, Sea Isle City has become a popular place for locals and vacationers to find various places to eat while maintaining the Shore Town's rich history.

We have used Google Analytics and Reviews to rank the best places to eat in Sea Isle City. Did any of your favorite restaurants make our list?

Gallery Credit: Josh Hennig/Townsquare Media

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