Coronavirus (Covid-19) update from LTA Padel

*UPDATE FROM LTA* (31/05/20)

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 July 26th, 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.

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

SOCIAL MEDIA GIVEAWAY

LTA PADEL TOUR – 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!

There will be one lucky winner for every post until our tournaments resume… That’s right, a lucky winner will be announced on every single post!

Simply engage with a post within 24-hours; leaving a comment or providing the correct answer if we’ve asked a question, whilst also tagging two of your friends.

Campaign:

LTA Padel Tour – Giveaway

 

How to participate:

  1. Comment or provide correct answer within 24-hours
  2. Tag 2 friends

 

Guidelines:

Posts: Winners will be selected at random after 24-hours.

Correct answers: If there’s more than one winner, we will select one at random.

Tag friends: 2 x tagged friends must be included in each comment to participate.

Reference: Posts must include the following hashtag: #LTAPadelGIVEAWAY

 

Note to winners:

Winners will initially be contacted by direct message (DM) on the relevant social media platform. Winners must provide their delivery details via email within 5-days. Only UK addresses will be valid.

 

Social media accounts:

 

Hashtags: #LTAPadelGIVEAWAY #LTAPadel #LTAPadelTOUR #adidaspadel #adidas #hometeam

Click here for complete rules and regulations.

The evolution & impact of padel in Europe

Spain, the most dominant country for padel in the world has over 20,000 padel courts and an estimated 4 million active players.

 

Since the early 90s, padel in Spain has primarily developed at tennis clubs; interestingly it’s now estimated that just 25% of total padel courts are located at tennis venues. 

 

Over the last decade, dedicated padel venues have been setup by enthusiasts as small businesses. The latest trends suggest however that the smaller padel clubs, defined as those with less than 4-courts are now starting to go out of business. This is due to a saturated market. The fierce competition between venues has resulted in a pricing war that has inevitably driven down court booking prices to an all-time low, whilst monthly rentals on warehouses look to increase.

 

As the padel industry matures and becomes more global, it’s the more established venues with a sustainable business model that usually survive, as with more traditional sports. The same can be said for the hundreds of padel brands that once flooded the marketplace; the more reputable brands, those household names with greater infrastructure, stability and experience, are the ones that come out on top.

 

Notably for venues in Spain and most recently Portugal, a minimum of 6-padel courts is advised as a rule-of-thumb. This is now encouraged on all padel projects, in order for a project to achieve any kind of sustainability and or financial return.

 

Sweden has witnessed the quickest growth in recent years, where its estimated that only 10% of total padel courts are located in tennis venues. Padel developments have occurred at lightning speed, and its thanks to the many Swedish entrepreneurs and enthusiasts directly investing in courts, clubs, and even franchise business models. Many of which are being endorsed by celebrities. For example, the most recently created padel facility in Sweden just opened in its capital with 20-indoor courts!

Interestingly, the Swedish Padel Federation is now set with the challenging task of implementing governance and structure to match the overwhelming growth they’ve experienced in such a short period of time.

 

In France and Italy, tennis federations now govern the sport of padel, where it’s estimated that 75% of total padel courts are located at registered tennis venues. Over the last 5-years both countries have grown from having less than 100 courts to over 800 courts, respectively. Developments are happening organically; whereby tennis venues are proactively adding padel courts, which is creating a sustainable model for the foreseeable future.

 

Believe it or not there are now 21 tennis federations throughout Europe that have incorporated the governance of padel into their bylaws, and now actively support its growth.

 

Tennis federations view padel as a way to reduce attrition from tennis, providing a fun, social and dynamic alternative to the traditional racquet sport, similarly to how tennis venues over the last decade added gyms to retain and grow their membership base. This strategy presents a win-win scenario for both tennis and padel, with both sports working in harmony, simultaneously complimenting each other’s objectives for growth and sustainability. 

 

Padel is seen as the perfect solution for a tennis venue with structural challenges, as two to three padel courts can fit into the space of one tennis court and it’s surrounding space. Venues can therefore introduce a new revenue stream whilst maximising any unused space. We have already seen this happen in Spain, and similar trends are now spreading throughout Europe.

 

Due to the sport’s main characteristic of being easier to pick up than tennis at the beginner level, it boasts less barriers to entry. It’s also engaging for the entire family as it’s always played in doubles.

 

In Great Britain, the growth of padel has been somewhat slower than expected, however with padel recently being incorporated into the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association), estimated growth suggests similar organic trends to that of other European countries.

 

The LTA are facilitating this organic growth through a Quick-Access Loan Scheme providing interest-free finance of up to £250k for padel projects. Such financing is a real game changer… and it is hoped that this will fast-track growth in order to catch up the likes of Belgium, Netherlands, France, and Italy.

 

A primary objective for the LTA over the next few years is to increase infrastructure i.e. growing the amount of courts in Great Britain. Encouraging existing tennis venues to partake in the innovative scope of padel is key to building a sustainable platform for the sport to grow. This will increase overall participation and generate a greater awareness for the sport as a whole.

 

Having the governance and structure in place prior to the sport growing is a huge advantage and will enable Great Britain to develop a sustainable platform for padel in the future. 

 

Article by:

Tom Murray

LTA Head of Padel

GB Seniors Padel Tour 2020

As of 2020 there’s a brand-new circuit just for our Senior players available in two age groups for the Men (+40 and +50), and +40 for the Ladies.

The GB Seniors Padel Tour are competitions open to all levels of play, so whether you are a seasoned regular or new to competing, there’s something for everyone!

The tournament rules and regulations are consistent to those of the LTA Padel Tour. Ranking points for GB Seniors are consistent with the LTA Padel Tour ranking tables, and listings will be categorised accordingly by age group.

Players first become eligible to compete when they are in their 40th year. After that you can move upwards to the next age group, always from the year in which you attain your new age.

Note. Rankings from 2019 that were accumulated in the +45 age-group will be distributed into the correct category upon confirmation of a player’s date of birth.

 

MORE INFORMATION: www.ltapadel.org.uk/tournaments 

LTA Padel Tour 2020

The LTA Padel Tour is a circuit of tournaments designed to give up and coming players the opportunity to gain experience at a national level. The tournaments are grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3, therefore primarily aimed at performance players with a padel rating of 5.0 or better, although any rating may enter. The LTA Padel rating table can be viewed below.

Both men’s and women’s events are run at each tournament. Most tournaments start on a Friday evening. Qualifying draws feed through to the main draw which usually commence on the Saturday with the Finals normally scheduled on the Sunday. Matches are scheduled throughout the entire day (if required).

An LTA Licensed Referee will be responsible for the running of each event

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

For more information and to access the LTA Padel Tour 2020 outline for info regarding rules & regulations, player categories, tournament formats, ranking points, and more, click the link below…

 

MORE INFORMATION: www.ltapadel.org.uk/tournaments