The Union R-XI Foundation is gearing up to host its inaugural Pickleball Classic. 

The event is slated to run Saturday, Sept. 14, through Sunday, Sept. 15, in the Union High School gyms. 

The tournament is presented by Fricks Market of Union as well as three of pickleball retailers Pickleball Central, Wolfe Pickleball and Onix Pickleball.

Sponsorships are still available and interested local businesses and individuals can find out more on the Foundation website at rxifoundation.org. 

The event has already attracted more than a dozen pickleball players from the St. Louis area. Sign-ups are still being accepted. 

The event caters to players from beginning to advanced levels and the registration process can be completed online. For more information and to register, see the tournament page at https://bit.ly/2N0bmnR. 

Since the tournament is hosted on PickleballTournaments.com, all players will be automatically and officially rated on a five-point skill-level scale using the USA Pickleball Association’s (USAPA) Tournament Player Rating System.

Admission for spectators is free.

“We are trying to do two things here — provide the good people of Union with more exposure to pickleball than they have already had and to give folks a chance to help the Foundation in its support of the schoolchildren of the Union R-XI school district,” Union R-XI Foundation board member and the co-director for the classic, John Devos said. 

Devos said the event will have concessions, raffles, and other opportunities to contribute.

The mission of the Union R-XI Foundation is to support the students, staff, facilities, and programs of the local school district. The Foundation does that primarily through grants for innovative classroom projects and scholarships to graduating seniors from Union High School. 

In the past, the organization has also assisted the district with fundraising and planning for unique projects like the construction of Stierberger Stadium and track, sound and lighting equipment in the high school theater, and land acquisition for the new elementary school currently under construction. 

More information about the Union R-XI Foundation and the Pickleball Classic, as well as information about the Foundation, can be found on the group’s website at rxifoundation.org.