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Where We're Training This Week: Padel Tennis

posted on Thursday, 3rd July 2014 | find under Tamara, Fitness, Nutrition
While the rest of sporting world is split between the football in Brazil and the tennis at Wimbledon, the Sweaty Betty ladies headed to Edinburgh Sports Club to try out Scotland's first Padel tennis courts - opened last week by the world's best Padel player, Juani Mieres.

A little-known sport in the UK (there are just 7 clubs in England with specifically-designed courts), Padel is garnering more and more popularity in the US, particularly in the fitness-loving states of New York and Los Angeles. Here, Sweaty Betty gets the lowdown on what Padel tennis is, why it's becoming big, and what the Edinburgh team thought of the game... 

The sport...

For Spain and Argentina, Padel is the country's biggest sport - ranked above even football and tennis in both popularity and players. Described as one of the world's fastest growing sports, it has quickly spread across the globe to Melbourne, Paris, Belgium and Canada, with over 12 million people now playing the innovative hybrid sport.

Predominantly a doubles game, Padel is often compared to squash thanks to its enclosed court, although these are often outdoors. Just like squash, the ball can be played off the walls, while the ball itself and the scoring system are more akin to tennis. Where the game differs from both tennis and squash is in the racquet (solid and stringless), the size of the court (2/3 the size of a tennis court) and the style of the serves; played under-hand rather than over. Possible plays include volley, smash and ground-stroke.

The timeline...

1969 - Padel is invented in Acapulco, Mexico by Enrique Corcuera.

1974 - Padel (Pádel) arrives in Marbella, Spain as a friend of the sport's creator introduces the game to friends - it quickly catches on, so he takes it over to Argentina the following year.

1992 - The first Padel Tennis World Championships are held in Madrid. Since then, the championships have been held every 3 years - once in Calgary, Canada and once in Toulouse, France. All other Championships were hosted by Mexico, Argentina or Spain. Of the 11 Padel Tennis World Championships that have been played, Argentina have won the gold medal at 8 in both men's and women's. Spain have won the other 3.

1995 - Padel is played in the Pan-American Games as an exhibition sport for the first time.

2011 - New York City gets its first Padel tennis court.

2012 - Padel arrives in the UK, courtesy of David Lloyd's Chigwell club.

2014 - The first Padel tennis court opens in Scotland, and the Sweaty Betty Edinburgh team are soon there to test it out.

Image credit: Total Padel UK

The review...

The team at the Sweaty Betty Edinburgh boutique are always game for trying out a new workout, especially when it's something new in town.

After going over the rules of Padel and the different ways to hit the ball, they learned how to volley, serve and backhand; plus how to use the walls to their advantage. With their instructor’s patient teaching style and good sense of humour, the class was so much fun that the team soon mastered the basics, and didn't want it to end.

The SB ladies really enjoyed the session and would highly recommend it - watch this space, they'll definitely be back!

The outfit...

Get into the tennis mood with the Advantage Tennis Skort - sweat-wicking and quick-drying with built-in shorts and ball pockets. Brighten up your outfit with the beautiful ombre print of the lightweight Athlete Vest that is soft and sweat-wicking for maximum comfort. A visor to keep the sun off, breathable trainer liners and a water bottle completes the Padel-ready look.

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