96-year-old fosters community on Long Island through teaching fellow seniors pickleball

Stacey Sager Image
Friday, June 7, 2024
96-year-old teaches fellow seniors new game, pickleball
A 96-year-old is fostering community on Long Island and keeping his fellow seniors active by teaching them the newly popular game of pickleball. Stacey Sager reports.

ISLIP, Suffolk County (WABC) -- You wouldn't know it by looking at him, but Joe Gaeta is 96 years old.

He's a World War II veteran, he once tried out for the Yankees, and he still officiates football games.

But what he may be best known for in the Long Island town of Islip is teaching fellow senior citizens how to play the latest craze in amateur sports: pickleball.

On the town's tennis courts, he has fostered a community of seniors seeking to stay active through the tennis/badminton/ping pong hybrid game that took off during the pandemic.

"36 people here, they're all friends now," Gaeta said.

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