SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Hundreds of people came out to the Arena Sports Complex in Sioux City to play pickleball for a good cause.

This is the first year United Way of Siouxland has held the ‘Pickleball for a Purpose’ tournament, to raise money for their annual fundraising campaign.

“Pickleball is kinda a mixture between tennis, and ping-pong, and badmiton,” said Heather Hennings, the president of United Way of Siouxland.

Over the 102 years United Way of Siouxland has been around, officials have done a variety of different activities for the annual fundraiser. Except for pickleball.

“We are working on a campaign to engage the community of all ages and all demographics, right, so pickleball seemed like as the fastest growing sport it might be a great way to do that,” said Hennings.

Thirty five teams of two from around Siouxland served up a wiffle ball during the pickleball tournament, all ranging from different ages.

“Looking around the room I would say we’re probably maybe 50’s and 60’s, but actually we individuals that are in their 20s that are playing today. So it’s really a wide range of individuals who are playing,” said Hennings.

Teams had to pay an entrance fee, all of which will go to local organizations.

“Last year we raised over $2.8 million, so our goal will definitely be to surpass that amount. And like I said those dollars are raised to fund organizations that are helping advance the education, health, and financial stability of our entire community,” said Hennings.

Not only does the fundraiser help organization like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girls Inc., and the Siouxland Center for Active Generations, but it also gives folks an opportunity to experience pickleball for the first time.

“It’s super addicting and it’s just really fun and once you’re kinda of like in the groove you want to keep playing, so I definetly think that I’ll keep playing,” said Kris Craighhead, a pickleball competitor.

Today’s tournament also helped kick-off their annual campaign for more information. Click Here.