Stockport pickleball pair Keith and Lynne Miller admitted they were in complete shock at being crowned national champions in Bolton on Friday.

The husband wife doubles team, who split their playing time between Stockport and Anglesey, had no expectations on competing at their first nationals and did not realise they had won gold in the over 65 mixed doubles until someone told them.

“We just thought we would come and enjoy it,” said Keith. “We thought we would be home by 12pm because we would have been beaten.

“We didn’t know it was the final. It was only when we won it that they told us that we won the gold. I think the lack of pressure definitely helped.”

“This is our debut – not bad is it!” added Lynne. “We are a bit shocked, we can’t believe it. We didn’t expect to win at all.”

Over the past year, pickleball has seen a meteoric rise in the UK due to its inclusive and accessible nature, with an estimated 12,000 regular players and over 450 venues offering the sport across the country.

There are now 682 athletes attending the National Championships at the Bolton Arena, up from 430 at the 2022 event.

The Millers are amongst the swathes of converts the sport in recent years, which is particularly popular with older players due to its low impact on the body compared to other sports.

“We play a little bit in Stockport but we go to Anglesey a lot and we got involved with a club there,” said Keith. “They have been so good and that is how we have improved.

“There’s great camaraderie, you meet some lovely people and it’s such a fun sport.”

While many pickleball players come from a tennis or squash background, Keith and Lynne made the change from another racquet sport growing in popularity after moving back to the UK from abroad.

“We played padel,” explained Lynne. “We lived in Spain, so we were padel players, but when Brexit and Covid came we started to play this and we love it.

“We are completely addicted!”

2023 English Nationals takes place at Bolton Arena from Thursday 26th October to Sunday 29th October. This year’s English Nationals is sponsored by Skechers, Franklin, Scan and UK Pickleball Shop, Play will commence from 9am each day. Head to to find out more or to find your nearest place to play