Padel4all Making a Racquet in Bristol

27 September 2022

You may have heard of it, and you’ve probably seen it played – especially if you’ve been on holiday in Spain or Portugal in recent years.

Padel is Europe’s fastest growing sport – and it’s now arrived in Bristol, courtesy of the city’s Lockleaze Sports Centre. The padel centre was built and is operated by Padel4all, a company established to build more than 20 of the highest quality clubs across the UK in the next 5 years.

The four courts there make up the largest padel centre in the South West. Padel4all has two other sites in the UK – a four-court venue at Southend and a three-court padel offering at Swindon. Four more centres are planned for other destinations in the UK within the next year.

The Bristol Centre has been open since the beginning of August when Bristol-based brothers and top-10 ranked squash players, Mohamed and Marwan Elshorbagy, played there to help celebrate the opening. The centre has already attracted a large following and offers coaching sessions, introductory courses and outreach initiatives in the wider South West community.


What is padel tennis?

Padel tennis is a hybrid of tennis and squash. Like squash, it is played on an enclosed court, but the court size is bigger (although less than a third of the size of a tennis court), and the ball can be hit off the walls. Padel is a doubles game, the rules and scoring are the same as tennis, but the serve is under arm making it easier for all to play.

The game is played with lower compression tennis balls and a high-density foam racquet. This makes the game much simpler to play than either squash or tennis.

Padel4all CEO and Founder Christopher Wilkinson described the game as “highly enjoyable” for everyone of any age or ability, even kids as young as six years old can play it. He said they were already seeing great excitement and enthusiasm for their Bristol venue, with participant numbers far exceeding expectations.

“We felt that the City of Bristol was an obvious venue with a thriving sporting heritage and a cosmopolitan community keen to try new and interesting things,” he said.

Tony Wright, CEO of Lockleaze Sports Centre, agreed.

@BristolLive: “We are receiving daily interest in this innovative addition to sport in Bristol, both from the local Lockleaze community and from across the city.”


Padel already has famous fans

Worldwide there are around 20 million active players of the sport. It’s particularly popular in South America, the Middle East and Scandinavia. Not surprisingly then, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is a fan while fellow footie star David Beckham has been spotted playing a game too.

Other big fans are global football stars Lionel Messi and Neymar, Spain’s tennis star Rafael Nadal and former top women’s tennis player Russian Maria Sharapova.

The game originated in Mexico in the 1960s before appealing to South Americans. It then swept across Mediterranean countries and Europe as a whole.


Padel4all special offers

Try padel this autumn for just £5! Sign up for the ‘Intro to padel’ special offer and receive one-hour tuition for £5 – with all equipment included.

Those signing up for padel’s ‘pay and play’ packages and membership deals save money on regular fees and get priority court bookings. Offers and memberships are available to book and purchase online.

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