The Epsom Lawn Tennis Club celebrated the launch of a three court padel club on October 30th with a Padel Open Day. Dozens of players attended the open day which featured coaching clinics by Sandy Farquharson and Toby Bawden, an exhibition match with Great Britain players, and a social atmosphere for all players to enjoy.
“The number of players that we got down here and the enthusiasm for the sport is really fantastic to see,” said Sandy Farquharson of The Padel School.
Mark Ayers, chairman of Epsom Lawn Tennis Club, helped organise the open day along with other members of the committee and said while the poor weather dampened the beginning of the event, it was ultimately a success.
“The rain stopped then the people came in the dozens,” Ayers said, “it’s been a great day.”
Padel open days hosted by tennis and padel clubs across the United Kingdom provide the opportunity for beginner to advanced players to grow the game and meet others interested in the sport.
One player at the Epsom Lawn Tennis Club has been playing padel for almost a decade after picking up the sport in Spain, one of the most popular countries for padel.
“I was really fascinated by it and saw the enjoyment tennis players were having getting to grips with padel,” he said.
This member said eve
ry experience he had with the sport was “completely positive” from playing with people from all levels to teaching kids this new ball sport.
Another member of the Epsom club said she got into padel more recently, picking up her first padel racket in 2019 and she quickly came to enjoy the sport after twenty years of playing tennis.
“It’s a good challenge and a new thing,” she said, “it’s really sociable because you’re a lot closer than a tennis court.”
The social aspect of padel is a big draw for events like this open day with the opportunity to enjoy refreshments, a BBQ, and chat with fellow players of the game.
Sandy Farquharson along with the Great Britain players played an exhibition match on the padel court, which gave attendees a look at the proper way to play the game.
“Most of our members play tennis on the padel court rather than padel,” said Mark Ayers, “so we’re looking forward to getting some proper coaching and playing the game properly.”
One member of the Epsom Lawn Tennis Club commended chairman Mark Ayers for being a big ambassador for the sport and growing padel in the community.
“Most of us had never even heard of it before and Mark has really pushed it forward and got a lot of us tennis players really into it,” she said.
Coaches like Sandy Farquharson and Toby Bawden have also been integral to the growth of the game across communities through these open days because of their long time experience playing and coaching.
“What we want to do with The Padel School is help players learn about the game, run these clinics, these exhibitions, these pro-ams,” said Farquharson, “so that these clubs can get a really good idea of what padel is and see how they can grow it in their community.”
Players from all levels can take online lessons from Sandy at The Padel School to improve their game and follow The Padel School on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to gain tips and follow upcoming padel events.