BLOG: Fancy a game of Padel?

One of our 4Youth Community members talks about Padel…the fastest growing sport in the world and the UK.

You may not have heard of this sport yet, but it won’t be long until everyone has as it is currently the fastest growing sport in the world and the UK…

Padel is best described as mix between tennis and squash with the court taking the shape of a tennis court but is surrounded by glass walls and a wire cage. The racquet-based game is played with a very slightly modified tennis ball, which is allowed to hit the glass after it bounces to keep the game in play. As the ball is able to bounce of the wall, it is much faster paced game than tennis and allows the sport to be picked up more easily.

The rules are very similar to tennis too, so any previous knowledge and racquet skills are easily transferrable to the game. Padel is unique because it must be played in doubles, so a game always includes four people. This is what makes pádel so sociable too and really sold the sport to me.  Personally, I have set up the first University pádel society at the University of Leeds after discovering it in Spain. In 6 short months we have managed to grow to over 100 members who enjoy meeting and playing with new people.

A bit about its history…

Padel first came from Mexico in the 1960s, when a young businessman couldn’t fit a regular tennis court in his garden, so he built a modified version. He built tall walls around the court to prevent the ball from going into his neighbour’s garden, or from going over the cliff face on the other side. Padel is now a widely played game in South America and many parts of Europe, in particular Spain and Portugal. The game is rapidly picking up popularity across the UK, with the help of Jurgen Klopp, David Beckham, Venus Williams and Andy Murray all being advocates for the sport. The UK only has roughly 150 courts but is expected to grow and expand as the number of people who play increases.

Padel is able to cater to all needs and ages, which I think is rare for sport. The other day, when I was playing at my local club, there was a court of children aged 6 having a lesson on one side of me, and four elderly gentlemen catching up over a game on the other side. I am yet to meet someone who plays the game and doesn’t enjoy it – it really is addictive.

“Padel is able to cater to all needs and ages, which I think is rare for sport.”

So, if you are looking for a new hobby, or new sport, or even a new way of meeting people, have a search on the LTA website about where your closest court is and give it a go! I can’t wait for the sport to grow and gain more and more popularity. I’d love to know of any other experiences people have had with the sport too!