David Lloyd Leisure Launches Padel Tennis

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One of the world’s fastest growing sport comes to Chigwell, Essex

We’re very excited at being the first nationwide company to bring padel to the UK with capacity to roll out to other clubs.

David Lloyd Leisure this month launches padel tennis – the first nationwide company to bring one of the world’s fastest growing sports to the UK market.

Europe’s premier health, sports and leisure group has teamed up with the Padel England Association to launch the sport at David Lloyd Chigwell, Essex, with the potential to roll out to other clubs.

Three indoor padel courts have been installed at Chigwell where courses for members will be run by an expert team of tennis coaches specially trained by the Padel England Association, a not-for profit organisation formed by players, padel professionals and sport developers to govern and grow padel in England.

The new facilities are part of a £325,000 investment for David Lloyd Leisure, which predicts that padel will become one of the major sports and fitness trends in 2012 and a great hit with families, all ages and abilities.

With an estimated 10 million players worldwide, padel, which originates in Mexico and today is hugely popular in Spain and Latin America, is considered to be one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

A fast-paced game, it is played in doubles, indoors or outdoors, on 20-metre courts – shorter than traditional tennis - with glass panels at each end allowing the ball to bounce off and remain in play. Using a padel bat and a padel ball, the sport also differs from tennis in that the serve is underarm.

David Lloyd Leisure’s head of sports, health and fitness, Rob Beale, said: “We’re very excited at being the first nationwide company to bring padel to the UK with capacity to roll out to other clubs. We pride ourselves on being innovative and developing new, exciting and fun products and programmes for our members, delivered by highly-qualified coaches.

“Padel tennis is a great way for the whole family to keep fit and easier to play than tennis or squash as less strength is required. It’s brilliant for improving hand-eye co-ordination, footwork and reaction times. You can guarantee a good cardio workout with padel, and the social and fun aspects are added bonuses.”

David Lloyd Chigwell’s general manager Mema Curran added: “I’m very proud that Chigwell has been chosen as the first club to launch padel. It is hugely popular in Spain, where I’m sure our members have seen it played while on holiday and wanted to have a go, and now they can do so at their very own club.”

Erik de Wit, Padel England Association director, said: “Padel England has been working tirelessly to spread the word about this fantastic sport, which has millions of fans all over the world. We’re delighted that David Lloyd Leisure has recognised this potential by launching padel and believe that, when people try it out for themselves, it will be a success - so much so that we believe there will be one million people in the UK playing padel by 2015.”

For further information, go to http://www.davidlloyd.co.uk/chigwell

Note to editors:

For further information about this press release, contact the David Lloyd Leisure press office on 01707 289833 or email press(at)davidlloyd(dot)co(dot)uk. Padel tasters can be arrange via the press office.

About padel tennis

Padel was invented in Acapulco, Mexico, in 1969 by Enrique Corcuera with the aim of stopping balls getting lost.

It differs from paddle tennis, which has its roots in Manhattan.

Padel tennis became very popular among the elite in Mexico before catching on with Spanish royalty. By the early 70s, it had taken off in Madrid and the south of Spain where it was played in popular beach resorts and members’ clubs before spreading to the masses.

To date, in England, there have been only four padel courts open to the public; the Chigwell installation almost doubles facilities.

About David Lloyd Leisure Group

The David Lloyd Leisure Group operates 80 clubs in the UK and a further 10 clubs across Europe.

David Lloyd Leisure has over 450,000 members and employs 6,000 people. This includes an expert health and fitness team of over 1,800 while it contracts the services of more than 400 tennis professionals.

Across all clubs, David Lloyd Leisure has over 150 swimming pools (of which half are indoor) and offers over 10,000 exercise classes per week. Every week 20,000 children learn to swim at David Lloyd Leisure and 14,000 learn to play tennis. Its racquets facilities are unparalleled with 700 tennis courts as well as 180 badminton courts and 140 squash courts. Additional facilities include health and beauty spas, club lounges with free internet access, crèches, nurseries and specialist sports shops.


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