World Padel Academy, (WPA) founded in Dubai, is bringing Padel Tennis – the fastest growing sport in the world – to the centre of Mansfield.
WPA has secured their first fully owned UK venue at One Call Stadium, home to EFL League Two promotion challengers Mansfield Town Football Club.
Padel Tennis is an urban style racket sport played in a glass and steel mesh walled court and is a mix of tennis and squash.
The game which has seen huge growth in Europe and the Middle East in recent years is so popular because it does not require high skill levels to enjoy playing, making it really inclusive.
Padel is played in doubles and because of the walls, it creates a lot of chances to return the ball, and rallies can go on far longer than in tennis.
WPA have submitted a planning application to Mansfield District Council to develop a brand new bespoke Padel Tennis facility that will include four covered courts and a small clubhouse, providing amenities and social spaces to help create a fun experience to engage the local community.
📷 Stags’ chairman John Radford with James Bowring, chief operating officer of WPA UK
Mansfield Town chairman, John Radford, said: “I’ve been playing Padel regularly for a few years now in Portugal and it’s one of the most enjoyable sports you can play.
“Padel encourages teamwork, discipline and healthy competition. It’s very easy and a great way to keep active.
“Playing it regularly helps develop healthy fitness habits and I know the people of Mansfield will really enjoy the game. I’m very much looking to playing Padel at the club.”
The £1million project is a significant investment into the town and is set to add an inclusive and accessible sports venue that the whole community can enjoy, with no limits on age or physical abilities.
Mansfield’s CEO, Carolyn Radford, commented: “We are so pleased to be working with World Padel Academy as Padel will be a really exciting addition to the football club.
“This project fits with our vision to provide more for Mansfield and it will doubtless help enhance the mental and physical wellbeing of our community.”
Padel Tennis already has a strong connection to football via its South American and Spanish heritage with many super stars playing including; Messi, Ronaldo, Zidane, Beckham, Salah, Guardiola, Klopp and Ibrahimović to name a few. In fact, Lewandowski loves the game so much, he is joining some of the world’s best players next year in a brand-new Pro-Am Padel tournament in Barcelona.
WPA Mansfield will provide group activities, coaching programmes for beginners through to Academy level players and will deliver a calendar of tournaments year-round for all levels, which will help grow the next generation of GB players and professionals.
James Bowring, chief operating officer of WPA UK, said: “WPA’s expansion strategy into the UK market is extensive as we are working hard to secure a network of venues across the country, but I have to say, I’m very excited to be launching our first fully managed UK venue in my hometown and introduce this amazing game to Mansfield.”
For the last six months WPA have added their expertise to grow the Padel community at Nottingham Padel Centre and the appetite for the game is developing rapidly, to the point where it’s challenging to book a court during peak hours.
Like Nottingham, WPA Mansfield will boast four Padel courts in 2024 but with one major differentiator, a purpose-built canopy structure will be erected to protect players from adverse weather, so Padel can be played all year round with no interruptions.