LTA PADEL TOUR AND LTA PADEL RANKING SYSTEM

As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken by the UK government to control the outbreak, the LTA suspended all activity including the LTA Padel Tour on 16th March 2020.

Following the LTA’s recent announcement, all graded padel competitions prior to 30th September 2020 have been cancelled, which include the following events:

 

  • LTA Padel Tour:
    • Grade 2 (Middlesbrough Padel Club): March 27-29, 2020
    • Grade 1 (Stratford Padel Club): April 3-5,2020
    • Grade 1 (National Tennis Centre): May 1-3, 2020
    • Grade 2 (Guernsey Padel Club): May 22-24, 2020
    • Grade 3 (Maldon Padel Club): June 26-28, 2020
    • Grade 3 (Hyde & Regents Park): July 3-5, 2020
    • Grade 3 (Middlesbrough Padel Club): July 10-12, 2020
    • Grade 3 (Stoke Park): July 24-26, 2020
    • Grade 2 (Thistle Padel Club): July 31-August 2, 2020
    • Grade 2 (Prested Hall): August 14-16, 2020
    • Grade 3 (Huddersfield LTC): August 21-23, 2020
    • Grade 3 (Maldon Padel Club): August 28-30, 2020

 

  • GB Seniors Padel Tour:
    • GB Seniors (Middlesbrough Padel Club): April 17-19, 2020
    • GB Seniors (Guernsey Padel Club): May 24-25, 2020
    • GB Seniors (Bishops Park): June 19-21, 2020
    • GB Seniors (Maldon Padel Club): July 17-19, 2020
    • GB Seniors (Stoke Park): August 7-9, 2020
    • GB Seniors (West of Scotland Padel): September 11-13, 2020

 

  • International events:
    • FIP Rise – National Tennis Centre: 5 – 7 June 2020

The LTA will continue to review this carefully and any further decisions will be made following all government guidelines. The latest LTA position in relation to Coronavirus will be available online here.

 

How will the ranking system be affected?

LTA Padel Rankings were updated after the first event of the year on the 16 March 2020. Subsequent ranking runs have been suspended until further notice. As padel activity has been suspended, the Rankings Run of Monday 16thMarch will be used when competition resumes.

The rankings system is based on a 52-week calculation however due to the period of inactivity the LTA Competitions Team will be modifying the LTA Competition Regulations to amend this rule. Once the period of suspension is lifted, the ranking run dates will be modified to include competitions from 16 March 2019 to prevent the period of inactivity having a material effect on players rankings.

 

How will the tournament seedings be decided when competition is resumed?

Once resumed, the first tournament seedings will be taken based on the latest ranking (16th March 2020).

 

Will the LTA be looking to amend the rankings calculation?

Once the period of suspension is lifted, the rankings run dates will be modified to include competitions from 16thMarch 2019 to prevent the period of inactivity having a material effect on players rankings.

Exact details are yet to be defined however the LTA are working with its international counterparts to ensure all ranking systems are aligned for both tennis and padel.

 

Article by

Javier Serrats

Competition Consultant

PADEL COMPETITIONS 2020 – Announcement

Dear padel players, coaches, venues, parents and fans!

Last updated: August 17th, 2020.

For those of you that haven’t seen the latest LTA update, I have adapted it as below for the purposes of our padel competitions:

As you will have seen, the current situation with regards to sport and what activity is permitted is under constant review, and based on recent conversations with Government we can now begin to ease restrictions relating to competitions.

Although certain tennis competitions will be kicking off in September, we have made the decision to not run LTA Padel approved competitions up until the end of September, this includes all LTA Padel Tour events (Grade 1 to 3). In addition, the Division 1 National Finals at the National Tennis Centre has been rearranged on Saturday 31st October & Sunday 1st November. We will communicate directly with those teams involved nearer the time.

We will continue to review this carefully and any further decisions will be made following the latest government guidelines at that time.

 This decision has been made for the following reasons:

We wanted to provide our Organisers, Officials, Venues and Players with as much certainty as possible during this challenging period.

LTA Padel Tour competitions require a number of weeks of planning, particularly so players have sufficient time to make arrangements and sign-up to each event.

Travel implications affecting certain areas and players around the country.

The likelihood of following strict social distancing guidelines, and the current situation makes planning events very difficult at this time.

However, this extended cancellation of LTA staged and LTA approved competitions does not mean that venues will not be able to stage any activity. Subject to future Government guidelines, we hope there will be the opportunity for organisers and venues to run some form of competition activity during the continued summer season.  Players will still be very keen to compete, and we encourage small draw entries (e.g. 8 or 12 players).

We therefore ask that if you were due to run weekend Grade 3 competitions that you hold onto the court time for now and consider running as many one-day events such as Matchplays, for as many age groups, as possible. For those venues that are scheduled to run graded events from October onwards, please complete a revised tournament factsheet and send by email to Sam Kemp by September 5th (sam.kemp@lta.org.uk

 

Return to competition – draft roadmap

  1. August / September – We hope to see the return of ungraded padel competitions, local friendly matches between venues, one day/half day events etc and want to encourage this activity where it is possible.
  2. October onwards – We currently continue to plan for the winter season to take place as normal.
  3. Oct 31st / Nov 1st – Division 1 National Finals at the National Tennis Centre.

Our aim is for all competition activity to return as soon as possible, in a way that is safe and appropriate for both players and officials, based on Government restrictions and advice at any given time.  We understand that once competition does return it is likely to be different and we have already prepared some guidelines to support you.

Note. different guidelines may apply in England, Scotland, and Wales. See full LTA guidelines here.

In summary, we are cancelling all Grade 1 to 3 padel competitions until the end of September, however we support the delivery of small one-day ungraded padel events, subject to government guidelines, as a substitute for the loss of this activity.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the LTA Services Team (padel@lta.org.uk).

Thanks again for your support and understanding at this difficult time.

 

Kind regards,

Tom Murray

LTA Head of Padel

The Scottish club that’s buzzing after lockdown!

West of Scotland Padel (WOSP) have made great use of the lockdown to ensure its members and visitors can resume playing padel in a much-improved environment.

WOSP, Scotland’s only indoor padel club recently extended the lease with the landlords with slightly enhanced terms based on the club’s commitment to making improvements. This has now been achieved with the removal of overhead industrial pipe and aged heating system, which was replaced by a brand-new overhead heating system.

Further to this new floodlighting was added to the two outer courts, meaning all three courts are fully floodlit by LED lighting. These are the main ‘on court’ improvements which not only improve lighting conditions, but the pipe removal allows for very high lobs, despite being an indoor venue – possibly the highest padel roof of all UK indoor venues.

The former shop has been converted into a Member’s Lounge where post-match refreshments can be enjoyed, or simply view centre court matches. The lounge opens into a viewing corridor behind all three courts, which now thanks to the new heating allow members/guests & spectators a more comfortable temperature to view games or congregate prior to club events during winter months.

In addition to the ‘on court’ improvements and heating, the club have added a new door entry system, and a mini gym adjacent to front door for pre-match warm-ups.

Regardless of the work as above, our committee were not satisfied to sit back and watch all these improvements – they got sleeves rolled up and got immersed in the operation clear up. The full hall has been cleaned, surroundings painted, courts brushed, and the showers/toilets given a full make over. Naturally, the committee are rightly proud of their lockdown achievement and very excited to welcome the membership back on court as soon as government rules permit.

And finally, as if all of the above was not enough, the committee decided to reduce our monthly membership on a trial basis to £40 per month and waive any joining fee in our quest to grow our membership by 33%, which should see our long term future secured. We are a registered charity club operating not for profit and eligible for funding, however our sustainability is contingent on membership growth and generating court revenue from guests. Help us spread the word.

At West of Scotland Padel, we are very pleased to be one of the first registered padel venues of the LTA and all the benefits such affiliation brings. Thanks to LTA we have a new website and public liability insurance, access to coaching and one of many venues selected to host official LTA tournaments.

In September, WOSP welcome competitors from throughout the UK and beyond to contest the GB Seniors Padel Tour. There are three categories; Gents +40 years, Gents +50 years & Ladies +40 years. (Save the dates – Fri 11thSeptember – Sunday 13th September)

In November, WOSP welcome the absolute cream of the British padel community, with all the top players competing in what may be the only grade 1 event of 2020 due to the pandemic impacting on two of the earlier planned events. We are particularly excited to see competitors that previously attended our club to see for themselves all the changes, and no doubt they’ll enjoy a ‘warmer’ welcome from our new heating system!

 

Article by:


David McCulloch

President WOSP

How can Padel transform your tennis club and how to introduce Padel successfully?

Article by Michael Gradon, CEO of Game4Padel

 

The Thistle Club story

Thistle Tennis Club in Edinburgh was for many years one of the leading clubs in the East of Scotland, producing players for County teams and beyond. The club is very much part of the local community and with 6 courts, had over 350 members. Gradually, however, the club found itself in a spiral of decline familiar to many clubs; facilities deteriorating, membership declining, income reducing, in what would ultimately have been a terminal spiral of decline.

Membership declined as low as 60 adults. The committee wanted to reinvigorate the club and were approached by a club member, Peter Gordon, with a proposition to introduce Padel. Peter explained the potential transformational impact: –

  • Fastest growing and most addictive racket sport in the world!
  • Easier game for kids and seniors, technically & physically
  • Doubles-only in a small court, so huge social fun for adults, with much banter!
  • Longer/faster rallies than tennis with fascinating tactical battles

The club enthusiastically embraced Padel as part of its recovery plan. It couldn’t have funded the courts by itself, nor had the construction skillsets, so Peter, an expert in tennis court construction, agreed to design/build and (supported by another member) fund the courts in return for most of the court fee revenue – a forerunner of the successful Game4Padel model explained below.

 

It was a no-brainer for the club – it got a fantastic new facility at no cost, with the potential to attract new members and reverse the decline. The Padel courts opened in 2017 and the club secured grant-funding to upgrade the tennis courts. Padel acted as a catalyst for the club and membership has rebounded to over 350.

Padel has continued to flourish at Thistle, with expert coaching from Angel Castano and Jorge Martinez (the LTA Padel Tour No. 1 pair). Peter co-founded Game4Padel (G4P) and G4P agreed to take over Padel at Thistle and install steel-framed canopies on the courts giving all year-round play. The newly covered courts opened in December 2019 and proved an instant hit, with play increasing three-fold and attracting a whole new audience to Padel with box-leagues, team leagues, bookings from local schools and businesses. It has become a model for the integration of Padel into tennis clubs, complementing tennis and strengthening the club.

How to make Padel work at your club

Introducing Padel successfully, however, is not straightforward. Costly and fundamental mistakes are easily made. Here are suggestions to on how to do so to maximise results: –

 

Lesson 1 – Make courts prominent

For Padel to take off successfully, the courts should be in as prominent position as possible, where people will naturally stop and watch. Once people have tried Padel they are hooked and the best way to get people willing to try it is for them to see it being played!

Lesson 2 – Use experienced contractors and premium equipment

Padel courts are like tennis rackets – buy a cheap one that won’t play well or last long, or a top quality one that will. There are four main components to a court – structural posts, glass, the playing surface and floodlights, but it’s a false economy to opt for the cheapest – rusting posts, broken glass or insufficient drainage will occur and can be disastrous. Including ground works, it might be theoretically possible to get courts installed for £30,000 – £40,000, however it’s the cost of ground works that can escalate project costs even further. Expect to pay over £40,000 per court (+VAT) for premium courts, projects that involve more complex civil engineering works and for installers who know what they are doing in the UK environment.

Groundworks are always site-specific and it’s vital to mitigate cost overrun or other unpleasant surprises by addressing the levelling, tree roots, leaf fall, utilities, ground conditions, drainage, and construction access. There are also a myriad of design/aesthetic options including court specification, floodlight design, panoramic frameless glass, online booking/payment/automated access systems, racket rental arrangements, colour options and canopies for indoor play.

 

Lesson 3 – Maximise promotion/marketing/playing programmes

Padel needs to be marketed to the widest possible number of potential players;, such as the local community, schools, universities, players from other sports (eg footballers and rugby players love Padel – Liverpool FC & Man City FC have their own courts – Jurgen Klopp plays daily and Zlatan Ibrahimovic has built his own club). Coaches, ideally your current ones, need to be enthused and trained, creating fun/imaginative playing programmes with social events, leagues and tournaments to back this up.

Lesson 4 – Ensure the right funding structure

Clubs can fund Padel courts with their own cash, taking the cost risks of contracting with a Padel court builder, then relying on club resources to promote, market and run Padel or they can partner with a specialist funding/operational partner, such as Game4Padel www.game4Padel.com, which offers a full service turnkey solution, meaning full funding and all the experience/skills to maximise the impact of this amazing sport.

 

The G4P OFFER

Game4Padel was founded in early 2019 by a very experienced management team. Chairman, Jim McMahon , a former PWC partner and chair of Motherwell FC, CEO Michael Gradon, ex-FTSE 100 Director and former Chairman of Commercial, Media & Finance for the All England Club / Wimbledon Championships, Commercial Director, Peter Gordon (founder of Thistle Padel), with huge experience building tennis & leisure facilities and Operations Director, Vincent Hivert, a tennis& Padel coach with extensive experience of working with tennis clubs developing programmes. G4P has raised in excess of £1m of capital. Andy Murray is one of the original investors and tennis celebrities Andrew Castle and Annabel Croft and rugby legend Jonathan Davies are all ambassadors.

G4P’s unique offer includes: –

  • Capital and most operating costs paid for by G4P
  • High-spec aluminium courts from AFP Adidas Padel – arguably the world’s best
  • Electronic court access system, online booking/payment systems and floodlight controls, enabling play with no staffing required
  • G4P provides carpet replacement, annual maintenance, software license fees for the booking system and guarantees the courts, indefinitely
  • Membership of G4P’s national network, enabling your members to access other G4P venues around the country
  • An indefinite partnership with G4P’s and your club’s interests aligned, to ensure courts remain active, in an ideal condition & Padel benefits the club long-term
  • High-profile launch festival, with a G4P ambassador and full marketing support
  • Coach training/support and advice on programmes, courses, events, leagues, matches etc.

Further details are available on the Game4Padel website:  https://game4Padel.com

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update from LTA Padel

*UPDATE FROM LTA* (1/06/20)

Playing PADEL During Lockdown

The LTA is in continued discussions with Government and has developed specific guidelines for venues, coaches and players.

Click here: Full guidelines now available from the LTA which apply to both tennis and padel.

 

Further Information

The below provides an update on all LTA activity during this time, specifically for padel.

Suspension of LTA activity

The LTA has implemented an immediate suspension of activity it delivers, with this suspension now in place for the foreseeable future. This includes all LTA organised training sessions, training courses and competitions.  We have also now extended the cancellation of the LTA Padel Tour (grades 1 to 3) up to August 31st, 2020. 

The LTA, in conjunction with the FIP, has regrettably had to cancel its summer FIP Rise event which was to be hosted at the National Tennis Centre on June 7th, following the latest advice from the UK Government and the suspension of professional padel due to the escalating coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

All those involved in padel in Britain, including venues and coaches, are advised to follow Government advice, referring to the latest information and the guidance issued. For the latest coronavirus advice for coaches click here, for the latest coronavirus advice for venues click here.

RETURN TO COMPETITION

In summary, we are cancelling all Grade 1 to 3 padel competitions until the above mentioned date, however we support the delivery of small one-day ungraded padel events, subject to government guidelines, as a substitute for the loss of this activity.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks again for your support and understanding at this difficult time. See full article for more detail.

COVID-19 LTA Support Packages for tennis & padel

Click here to see an overview of all our packages of additional funding and measures to support those involved in tennis and padel in Britain who have been severely impacted by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

SOCIAL MEDIA GIVEAWAY!

Due to several tournaments being cancelled on the LTA Padel Tour calendar we’ve decided to GIVEAWAY all the prizes from the events… There are currently 96 adidas prizes up for grabs on our social media channels via polls, challenges, questions, and comments. Check out our dedicated webpage for more information, the rules & regulations, or head on over to the LTA Padel social media channels to see all the action #LTAPadelGIVEAWAY.

 

Best wishes,

Tom Murray

LTA Head of Padel

Multi-million pound support package for tennis and padel in Britain to combat impact of coronavirus

In early March 2020, the LTA announced a multi-million-pound package of additional funding and measures to support those involved in tennis and padel in Britain through the impact of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

The comprehensive package, developed by the LTA, will make additional support available to registered venues, coaches, officials and players to the value of up to approximately £20m, with the goal of ensuring that both tennis and padel in Britain emerges from this period in as strong and healthy a position as possible, and that the sport is able to resume its activity as soon as conditions allow.

The funding and support will aid those who have been most severely affected by the pandemic, many of whom have seen their income streams reduced while still needing to pay bills and support families. The focus is on protecting the grassroots of the sport.

The support being provided by the LTA for those impacted by the coronavirus includes:

Venues

  • A repayment holiday on loans of six months for all existing LTA facility loans, equating to a value of almost £1m
  • A 2019/20 registration fee refund for LTA Registered Venues equating to over £1m
  •  A Hardship Fund of up to £13.5m, providing interest free loans of up to £5,000
  • Dedicated helpline providing legal expertise to assist with identifying and claiming Government support
  • Continued operation of the LTA’s Quick Access loans scheme for venues which provides interest free loans of up to £250k for investments such as covered courts, padel courts and floodlighting

Coaches

  • Financial support grants for full time LTA Accredited Coaches and Tutors, covering both the self-employed and those set up as sole directors of limited companies, equating to a value of approximately £4m
  • A targeted Hardship Fund of up to £1m, providing interest free loans for coaches of up to £5,000
  • Dedicated helpline providing legal expertise to assist with identifying and claiming Government support
  • Free access to online Continuing Professional Development courses
  • Temporary extension for LTA Accredited Coaches where their accreditation has recently expired or is due to expire in the coming months
  • Grant and loan funding to be made available to the LTA’s Coach Qualification providers

Support Line

Further support is also being provided in other areas, as well as free advice regarding Government support packages and their eligibility. We encourage those affected to get in touch via the LTA support line.

We have also extended the legal and tax advice line with Brabners to help venues, coaches, officials and counties with some of the complicated issues around the impact of Covid-19.

In particular, this means that free advice on eligibility for Government support, and guidance on how to apply is now available.

https://www.lta.org.uk/about-us/covid-19-support-packages/

“Checkmate”

Padel and chess could not be more different; when one sport requires speed, power and athleticism, the other is often performed from the comfort of an armchair. But the comparisons between padel and chess are getting more popular inside the padel community since the technical and tactical component is essential.

Every game whether at the lowest level or highest level must eventually decided by a tactic. Before or at the beginning of a padel match you will usually look to identify a winning strategy, which might be playing aggressively or conservatively. Mental endurance over the course of the match is truly important in both sports in order to maintain a strategy and succeed.

We can describe chess and padel as sports where psychology and mental training are strong aspects. There are actually many different types of mental benefits that come from playing chess. Focusing and maintaining concentration are an example of key aspects when playing padel.

But one basic difference, in addition to the obvious ones, separates both activities; in chess all players have the same pieces, whilst in padel each player plays with a different arsenal than the rival.

 “Padel is like chess at 100 miles an hour, to be a championship padel player, you need the mind of a chess master and the endurance of a marathon runner. However, even if you do everything right technically and mentally, you physically still have to hit the shot to win”  

It is clear that by playing chess can make us mentally stronger and this can potentially enhance our padel skills. Padel coaches are already using it as a complement for player’s routines.

Article by:

Alvaro Fernandez

NTC Head Padel Coach

If you think padel’s a man’s game, it’s time to think again!

Richard Hall of GoPadel UK chats to some of his female padel members who have been bitten by the padel bug…

Here at GoPadel UK in Maldon Essex, we’ve worked really hard to encourage more women into the game, and we’re proud to say that it’s paid off – our club now comprises 40% female members, who play regularly at our training sessions, matches, club and national competitions, and social events.

Here, Ali, Pennie and Gail reveal what they love about the sport:

Ali’s story – “Padel has changed my life!”

Other than playing a bit of tennis in my teens, I haven’t done much in the way of sport since I was at school. I’ve tried running and cycling, and even went to the gym for a while, but now that I’ve discovered padel, I’m playing sport three or four times a week. It has totally changed my life, and our family life, too as my husband and son also play, and my daughter is learning.

In short, padel is addictive. It’s pretty easy to pick up the basics, and then you discover that there is so much to learn, with shots and strategy. I find it mentally and physically stimulating, and I’m certainly never bored!

Another plus is that I am fitter now than I was 20 years ago!

Padel is fun and competitive. I really enjoy the competitive element at GoPadel. It’s great to be part of a local club, and it’s full of lovely, friendly members, so while we all play to win, the atmosphere is great. The mix of members is huge, too – young and old, male and female, beginner and advanced; it’s totally inclusive and there is always someone free for a match. The club also organises regular mixed double tournaments which are always well attended and extremely popular with both male and female players. I just wish that I’d discovered padel years ago!

Gail’s Story – “I loved padel the first time I played it”

My main sport of choice had always been squash, until one day I saw a programme about a new sport called padel, which seemed to combine the things I love about squash but with more of a social interaction. I was intrigued, but when I looked into it, there was nothing available locally.

Then, to my delight, a couple of months later, I discovered that GoPadel had opened near to where I live.

I went along to have a look, and at the age of 61, I played padel for the first time. I loved it straight away!

I think that a huge part of the reason why it is so enjoyable is down to the coaches, Rich and Dan. From the start their enthusiasm, professionalism, fun and passion for padel inspired me to challenge myself and to improve. They make it fun, and are so positive and supportive.

I have always been very competitive and I love that this sport develops the element of competition. GoPadel is an extremely inclusive and sociable club, and so I play with people across all ages from the teens to 70s. I love the competitions; the Mexican event is a particular favourite of mine. The training sessions are brilliant, as well – they are hard, but Rich and Dan make them fun.

Padel is addictive because you can play and have a day where you have a few bad shots, but it is the good ones that hook you in and make you love the game. When you hear people playing padel there is always laughter on the court somewhere! it is extremely sociable whilst giving you a great workout and bringing the competitive element into the game too. I enjoy the fact that padel is played in doubles, so you are working with a partner. It’s a very tactical sport, so it keeps both my brain and body active.

Padel has had a truly positive impact on my life. I sadly lost my mum last year. She lived with me for four years and was very ill at the end; padel was my saviour! I needed to have that time where I was able to be myself, forget about being a carer and socialise with my fellow padel players, who were so kind. My lovely mum used to say that I was a different person after playing padel. It helped me to deal with losing her.

I recommend padel to everyone – even the newest players can get a good rally going! It’s fair to say that it gets you in a way that not other sport does. I do think, however, that a big part of the reason that I love the sport so much, is because I am a member of GoPadel. Rich is an exceptional coach. I’m 64 now, and I have found a sport that I truly love playing with like-minded people. It’s a really sociable game, and I know that it is the reason that I am so fit. What more could you ask
for?

Pennie’s story – “I’ve become a padel addict”

I like hitting things!

Jogging or the gym is not for me, but I have played a lot of sport both social and competitive since the age of 10, in particular tennis and badminton. I’m now over 60, which is perhaps an unusual time to take up a new sport, but when I saw that some padel courts had opened fairly close to where I live, I decided to see what it was about.

Initially, I was worried that I would need to find three other people to play with… and that even if I could find them, none of us would know the rules or have the skills required to make a good game. My worries turned out to be unfounded – I soon discovered that GoPadel was a club run by knowledgeable and enthusiastic coaches who offered introductory sessions for beginners, private lessons and what has become my favourite: group training sessions.

The group training is brilliant. In these sessions we not only learn how to handle the mystery of hitting off the wall, but also padel-specific shots such as the bandeja, chiquita and boast. We also laugh a great deal and burn off hundreds of calories without even being aware of it.

Padel is so easy to pick up whether or not you have previously played other racquet sports.

From my perspective as an older player, the size of the court, the fact that it is only played as doubles and you can let it go past onto the wall and hit it on the way back, means there is less running to do and just as much hitting… which I love!

Socially we have a great time at GoPadel. Apart from the group coaching there are mix-in sessions, leagues, tournaments of many kinds for all levels of players and you can, of course, organise your own fours when you want to. It’s quite a unisex sport because at mix-ins and even in competitions you often find two women playing against two men, or a game of mixed doubles.

It’s true that I’ve become a padel addict. I love the fact that I’m improving and enjoy the long, brilliant and sometimes hilarious rallies. I’ve made lots of new friends of all ages who are as addicted as I am. My only regret is that I didn’t discover this wonderful sport decades ago.

PADEL IS FOR EVERYONE – LET’S GO PADEL!

Article by:

Richard Hall

Founder GoPadel UK

Website: www.gopadeluk.com

 

What will be the fate of this year’s World Padel Championships?

Having a major event in our sport every two years is a huge incentive for all British players to train and play tournaments throughout the year. We now have many aspiring and ambitious players pushing through and challenging to be selected for the GB Team.

Playing in a World Championships is a cherished experience, mixing the unique opportunity as a padel player to compete within a team, whilst representing your country.

I first played in a World Padel Championships in Mexico in 2010, which was an amazing experience and great exposure for me to the game. I can clearly remember the moment of my first victory in that tournament against Switzerland as being rather emotional.

Playing these events is a privilege and it not only improves all aspects of a player’s game; it gives players the opportunity to compete against the best in the world. It enables us to travel to new environments such as a trip to Asunción in Paraguay for the 2018 World Padel Championships.

Paraguay was a very different and interesting culture to experience. One of which most of us would probably not have experienced if it wasn’t for the game of padel. One of the main highlights for me was a victory my partner (Ryan Wyatt) and I had in the tie against the #4 seeds Uruguay. Unfortunately, the team narrowly missed out on making the quarterfinals.

The standout performance from GB was in the 2016 World Padel Championships in Portugal, where we progressed to the quarterfinals losing to the mighty Spain. An unforgettable performance from the team that positioned us within the top eight nations in the world, all of whom had notably far greater experience, budgets and resources.

Padel is dominated by Spanish and Argentinian players and is most popular in Spanish speaking countries, although over the past 10 years European countries including the UK have steadily become exposed to padel as they realise its many benefits.

The recent merger of British Padel and LTA will only accelerate its popularity and over the next 5-years I’m confident we will see similar growth to what France and Italy have both experienced.

The International Padel Federation (FIP) is responsible for the growth of the sport worldwide and is doing a great job in reaching a wider circle of countries, like Japan, China, Australia, Qatar, and since the introduction of the new FIP president, Luigi Carraro, in November 2018, we have seen improvements in the organisation and structure of events.

Last year’s European Padel Championships was organised well in difficult circumstances and the FIP tournament calendar this year was released well in advanced, but there is still room for improvement.

To date, there haven’t been any official announcements regarding the status of this year’s World Padel Championships in Qatar. The FIP’s website states there is a ‘pause to all competitions’. The Qatar Tennis Federation (who I understand are the organisers) have no information on the event at all.

In other sports such as tennis, the next three major tournaments have all made very clear noticeable announcements – The French Open has moved to a new date in September, Wimbledon has been cancelled and the US Open in August has stated its intentions to go ahead as scheduled. I know we are not tennis and these events are much sooner but some clear communication here would let us all know that the World Padel Championships hasn’t been forgotten.

The concern is as follows:

The top 10 ranked nations gain direct entry; however, at least 6 teams will need to compete in a qualification process. GB who are currently #13 (with a high of #8 in 2016) would fall into the latter category meaning a qualification round which will need to happen sometime before November.

Even in an ideal environment this is now less than seven months before the Championships begins and with the likelihood of qualification rounds to be played at a date and place TBC; this does not leave much time for smaller nations to organise and arrange funding for their teams.

The FIP have had two years to organise the destination of the World Championships, yet Qatar was only announced as the host venue in March of this year. Shouldn’t this be something that’s announced significantly earlier?

By making clear, timely decisions, whilst communicating them in a consistent way will set the bar for our minority, yet global sport.

The World Padel Championships is a major highlight for many of us who are focused on promoting and growing the sport within our respective countries, as it’s an opportunity when we can all come together.

Article by:

John Leach

Team GB Captain

John has been a prominent figure in the GB squad over the past 10 years. He has served as Captain in three World Padel Championships.

The Padel School – Podcast

As well as the tutorials and all the hot tips, posted regularly to the popular YouTube channel, The Padel School has launched its very own Podcast.

Creator, Sandy Farquharson will be interviewing some of the global influencers in the sport, as well as speaking to professional players to explain some of the more challenging aspects of the game.

The first episode features an interview with LTA Head of Padel, Tom Murray, which can be listened to on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

 

 

 

Online Learning

Now is a great time to watch some video content, whether it is technical tutorials, tactical lessons or match analysis, there are almost 100 free videos on The Padel School channel: www.youtube.com/thepadelschool

Website: www.thepadelschool.com