Chelsea Harbour Club builds platform for exciting new sport Padel to excel and grow in Britain

The organisers of  the Air Europa Padel Exhibition earlier this month hope the event will have helped increase padel’s popularity in Britain.

On Friday, December 4, several international players took to the court at Chelsea Harbour Club to compete in the exhibition that night and the British Open Padel Championships that weekend – which saw Jamie Murray also play.

The turnout for the event was good and British number one Richard Brooks believes it will help take the sport to the next level.

He said: “I was very impressed by the turnout. Obviously I always want more but I was very happy.

“I wasn’t thinking so many people would come.

“It’s just a matter of people believing in the sport, playing and just trying it. Once they’ve tried it, they are going to love it.

“Once they love it, everybody will want to have a padel court in their house.

“Everything started in Argentina and then they brought it to Spain.

“Suddenly the sport will start growing, not only in the UK but in the whole of Europe.”

But British number two and the man behind the organisation of this event, Tom Murray, believes padel faces a tough battle to push on.

“There is no public funding so we need private individuals to make investments, book clubs and courts,” he said.

“We need more courts to do more events and get greater participation.

“Until that point, it’s a fighting battle. We had to pay for 18 juniors to attend the World Junior Tournament in Mexico.

“That’s another reason why I put this event together, to showcase this sport on a corporate scale to try and coax more sponsors.”

Murray is also expecting big tennis stars, such as Jamie and Andy Murray and Henri Leconte, to help promote the sport in Britain.

“They are characters, which is why I include them in everything we do at all these events. People love them and that’s really important,” he said.

“Leconte has played a lot here with us and Jamie as well.

“He is completely addicted and has built a padel court in his own club at Bridge of Allan.

“I want to get Andy more involved because he will take it to the next level for us.”

Feature image courtesy of Liam Bachler, with thanks

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