Racquet sport craze comes to Swindon golf club
The latest sporting craze has come to Swindon after a Padel Tennis facility opened at Basset Down Golf Course.
Padel4all built a three-court, canopy-covered centre at Basset Down, not far from Junction 16 of the M4.
Padel is a racquet sport played in doubles on an enclosed court around 25 percent smaller than a tennis court.
The balls can be played off the walls, as in squash, and a solid bat is used to hit the ball.
The centre will provide coaching programmes and community outreach initiatives – 200 school pupils are already involved in an outreach programme.
Holly Alabidi, head of PE at one of the participating schools, Great Western Academy, said: “GWA have loved having Padel4all in during the Summer Term to run a series of sessions through our student enrichment programme.
“Padel Tennis has been a huge success and it’s fantastic to offer our pupils a new and exciting sport which is great fun to play.”
Padel4all have partnered with local and national organisations, featuring Wiltshire Tennis and Wiltshire & Swindon’s Active Partnership (WASP).
Steve Boocock, CEO of WASP, said; “We are always pleased to see new sports facilities being developed and being one of the first padel centres in the UK it offers a great opportunity for people in Wiltshire to try this easy to play, fun and sociable sport.
“A priority for us is that access to sport is available to all and that those involved in its delivery are aware of the barriers some people face.
“It’s clear that the padel centre understands these issues and will be creating opportunities that are genuinely inclusive.”
Padel4all have also gained the support of the national governing body, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).
Sharon Heeley, LTA head of region for South and South West, said: “We’re very pleased to see the fantastic new padel courts in Swindon.
“One of the LTA’s key strategies is to find new ways to grow participation and padel is an innovative format of tennis that’s fun, flexible and easy to play – so we hope these brilliant new facilities will encourage people to give it a try.
“We look forward to working with Padel4all to grow it as a complementary form of tennis that benefits our sport as a whole.”
Chris Wilkinson, Padel4all, founder & CEO said: “We have reached a significant milestone in opening our first Padel4all centre and I am proud of the team’s hard work in getting us to this point.
“Now, the focus shifts to making sure we fulfil the needs of our centre’s community and continuing to develop the sport of padel in the area.
“We hope to welcome both existing players and those who have never played before. We want to see everyone on court and having fun.”
The centre sits on the grounds of Basset Down which has seen significant renovation over the last 18 months to expand their facilities to include a 78-seater restaurant, extended bar and lounge area with fantastic views across the vale.
Basset Down’s general manager, Rosie Nutland, said: “We are really pleased that padel tennis is part of our offering here at Basset Down.
“The centre will be a welcome addition to our clubhouse extension and new facilities, and we look forward to working closely with the Padel4all team in making Basset Down a first-class venue for the local and wider community.”