When Shawn Ganow first picked up a pickleball paddle, he expected to find a hobby that he and his wife, Nora, could enjoy together. What he found was a new passion, a new community of friends and a new career opportunity.
In June 2023, Shawn joined the YMCA of Greater Brandywine (YGBW) as the Association Pickleball Coordinator. An entrepreneur with a background in the industrial rental industry, Shawn welcomes the career shift to pickleball, the fastest-growing sport in the nation.
“My wife introduced me to the game as we looked for a hobby we could enjoy together, and I got hooked right away,” Shawn recalls. “When I first started playing, I was frequently getting outplayed by people of all ages and abilities. I’ve never experienced a sport like pickleball, and I’m excited and challenged by its unique qualities.”
As the Association Pickleball Coordinator, Shawn will help manage and enhance the pickleball program at all YGBW branches, including the Pickleball Center at Downingtown. He will also develop and support our youth and family pickleball program; assist with the oversight of open skill level play, tournaments, leagues, pickleball club and special events; teach lessons/clinics and lead our volunteer ambassador program.
Shawn has served as a volunteer pickleball ambassador for the Jennersville YMCA and is an IPTPA Level I Certified Pickleball Teaching Professional, as well as an accomplished pickleball player. Shawn has medaled in Men’s doubles and mixed doubles at the 4.0 level and loves the comradery of the sport.
“The whole pickleball community is very welcoming,” says Shawn. “As we age it’s common for our friend circles to get smaller and less inclusive. With pickleball, you have countless new friends the instant you step onto the court.”
Outside of the Y, Shawn spends time with his wife, Nora, and their four children – who keep him entertained, challenged and overwhelmed – in the best way possible
Staying active is something that John Harvey loves to do. He’s done so throughout his career with the U.S. Marine Corps and now as a Pickleball Pro at the YMCA of Greater Brandywine.
“I wasn’t ready to ‘sit and relax’ yet,” explains John. “Being a pickleball instructor at the YCMA allows me to remain active – much like pickleball itself. Pickleball is a well-rounded game that allows players to stay mentally, physically and socially active.”
In his role as a YMCA Pickleball Pro, John teaches the basics of pickleball to beginners and helps advanced players learn tips, tricks and strategies. John organizes open court time, leveled play and pickleball clinics for members and guests. John holds the L1 pickleball instructor certification from the International Pickleball Teacher Professional Association (IPTPA) – in addition to being a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer (CPT).
When he’s not playing pickleball or exercising, John enjoys reading non-fiction, especially history. Outside of the Y, you’ll find John spending time with his wife and Smedley, their Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
As a Pickleball Pro at the YMCA, Larry gets to experience both fitness and community. “I love the feeling of community at the YMCA,” explains Larry. “My first job in high school was working for the YMCA in Lansdowne, coaching Soccer and running an adult basketball league. There is a sense of community here that you don’t find at other fitness facilities.”
In his current role as a YMCA Pickleball Instructor, Larry helps new players understand the basics of pickleball. Each week, Larry teaches pickleball clinics based upon level of play – with sessions for beginners and more advanced players. Larry also coordinates open court times and leveled play for players in West Chester.
“I enjoy teaching pickleball and spreading the game to new players,” comments Larry. It is a job that combines the sense of community that Larry loves with fitness. “Playing pickleball, athletes can compete at a high level – while enjoying the strong social aspect of the game.”
Larry holds the L1 pickleball instructor certification from the International Pickleball Teacher Professional Association (IPTPA) – and is working on the Level 2 Certification. Larry plans to compete in the 2023 US Open for pickleball in April and is a level 4.0+ player.
When Larry is not on the pickleball courts of West Chester, you might find him on the golf course or spending time with his grown children and his dog Chief.
From yoga to pickleball and many steps in between, Bill’s passion for fitness has been in the foreground throughout his life. Bill devoted much of his adult life to teaching yoga, personal training, and playing tennis and racquetball – before discovering pickleball. Now, pickleball is a passion and a full-time career for Bill, who works as a lead certified pickleball pro at the Pickleball Center in Downingtown.
“I have a passion for pickleball - and teaching pickleball at the Y is a dream job,” explains Bill. Each week, Bill conducts pickleball lessons & clinics for players at all levels – introductory, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. As a 4.0+ player and a pickleball coach, Bill has many tips and tricks that he shares with members and guests.
Bill is an IPTPA Certified Level 2 Pickleball Pro. Bill is also an IPTPA Certified Rating Specialist & an IPTPA Junior Pickleball Instructor.
Outside of pickleball, Bill spent the past 30 years in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and master yoga teacher. Bill formerly owned Power Yoga Works, a group of yoga studios and certification schools in greater Philadelphia. He has trained and certified thousands of yoga instructors around the country.
Bill lives in Chester County with his wife, Dawn, and their Bernese Mountain Dog, Hopey, and Bernedoodle, Roxy. He has two children and four grandchildren and is a regular volunteer at Calvary Chapel Church in Chester Springs.
Teaching and mentoring is a gift that Steve Sciscione has shared with the Chester County community in many facets – from career counseling to karate and many steps in between. After a 30-year career at the University of Delaware as an administrator, career counselor and adjunct faculty member and 20 years spent as a karate instructor at the Lionville Community YMCA, Steve lends his teaching talents to members of the Kennett Area YMCA as a certified Pickleball Pro.
In his role as a YMCA Pickleball Pro, Steve helps members and guests learn the ins and outs of pickleball. Each week, Steve teaches pickleball clinics and organizes round-robin play and open court times. Steve holds the L1 pickleball instructor certification from the International Pickleball Teacher Professional Association (IPTPA) – and is a player himself. After playing tennis competitively for ten years, Steve has made the jump over to pickleball, which combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong.
“My passion is helping others live a healthier lifestyle and reach their wellness, life and career goals,” explains Steve. And, he’s living by that statement. When Steve isn’t busy on the pickleball courts, he spends time at the YMCA as an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer, a LiveStrong Coach and a substitute instructor for Tai Chi. Steve holds a 7th-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
Outside of the Y, Steve spends time with his many grandchildren and enjoys traveling to Cape May and Tuscany.