Pickleball Association of NSW


2023 GemLife Australian Pickleball Championships - Powered by the APP

Published Wed 04 Oct 2023

2023 GemLife Australian Pickleball Championships – Powered by the APP

That’s a wrap!

Well, the largest pickleball tournament in Australia finished yesterday at the Blacktown Leisure Centre with the last medal presentation at 6pm. After a frantic couple of hours pack down and move out by a dozen usual suspects, we were off site by 8pm.

By any measure, this was a highly successful event, including the smiles on many, many faces and the large number of people who told me how much they enjoyed themselves.

It was delightful to see almost every game played in a very positive spirit in fairness to opponents. The tournament was blessed with 40 referees, some officiating for the first time. This was a fantastic opportunity for referees to hone their skills and for new players to appreciate the experience of having their games refereed and to develop a positive relationship with referees, who donate their time.

A few numbers:

  • 689 competitors from Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, USA, Taiwan & UK
  • 105 events
  • 2,435 matches
  • 518 medals
  • 45 courts
  • 40 referees
  • Over 100 volunteers

Numerous match videos are online on the Pickleball Australia YouTube channel to view anytime:


Major Gold Medal Winners

  • Open Women’s Singles - Emilia Schmidt
  • Open Men’s Singles - Ryan Henry
  • Open Women’s Doubles - Danni-Elle Townsend & Emilia Schmidt
  • Open Men’s Doubles - Mitch Hargreaves & Joseph Wild
  • Open Mixed Doubles - Emilia Schmidt & Mitch Hargreaves
  • Open Women’s Skinny Singles – Huong Vang
  • Open Men’s Skinny Singles – Denis Pointing
  • Para Pickleball Coed Doubles - Dion Reweti & Matt Hansson
  • Para Pickleball Coed Singles - Ben King

Additional awards

  • Pickleball Australia Spirit of Pickleball Award – Ray Ware
  • Pickleball Australia Player of the Tournament – Emilia Schmidt
  • Oceania Smash Clash – Queensland (Sarah Burr & Martin Clark)

  • Thanks!
  • Huge thanks to our hosts Blacktown City Council for providing a superb venue, described by many players as the best pickleball venue they have ever seen. The Council and Leisure Centre have been incredibly supportive during the planning and delivery of this massive event. Blacktown City Councillors Bob Fitzgerald & Brad Bunting were good sports in playing a fun exhibition game with renowned bubbly players from the north coast of NSW, Kim Pickering & Roberta O’Brien, who were joined by local MP Stephen Bali in a cameo appearance.

We thank our sponsors and national partners for their support:

  • GemLife – Official Event Partner
  • APP – Powered by Partner
  • Franklin Pickleball – Official ball of Pickleball Australia
  • Engage – Official Paddle of Pickleball Australia
  • Blacktown City Council - Host
  • Taco Bell – Silver Sponsor
  • Paradice Investment Management – Silver Sponsor
  • Six Zero – Bronze Sponsor
  • CleverCare – Bronze Sponsor
  • FCX – Bronze Sponsor

Thank you to Pacific Pickleball League (PPL) and our affiliated clubs from around NSW for supplying nets for the event and also to PPL for coordinating the “play with the pros” on Friday afternoon with a number of the PPL/MLP pros.

This event was made possible by over 100 unpaid PANSW members. Some of these volunteers played a special role to make this APC every successful – in some cases over many months. These people deserve special mention:

Ben Kannan, whose continual logistics efforts working 12hour days from Thursday to Monday night during the tournament, were critical to achieving a positive outcome.

The APC Organising Team (some members are mentioned below):

  • Sandra Canniff
  • Brian Alston
  • Tony Morgan
  • Jen Ramamurthy

Thank you also to the following people:

  • David Jay – head referee
  • Cath Griffin – PAA Tournament Chair
  • Yvonne Edwards – data entry coordinator
  • Michael Hawes – fundraising
  • Jacqui Dixon – social media
  • Deb Khoury – planning support
  • Jason Yeung – financial controller
  • Michael Irrgang – musician
  • Bev Whittles - musician

There were two other people – whilst not volunteers – who were crucial to the success of the tournament:

Matt Hort, Tournament Director worked his magic again to complete matches and medal presentations every day ahead of schedule.

Brendan Lee, CEO of PAA worked tirelessly over the 4 days behind the scenes, behind a microphone and in front of a camera to make the event successful.


If you were not able to collect your medal at presentation; please reach out to us and we will arrange for delivery.

APC 2024

Planning is already underway for the APC 2024, to be held on the Gold Coast! Keep an eye on the PAA website and social media for more details soon!

Kind regards,

Matt J Noone

Tournament Organiser