SOUTHEND has been added to the long list of places now enjoying the popularity of Padel.

The sport, which is a cross between tennis and squash, is one of the fastest growing in the world with 25 million players now giving it a go in 90 different countries.

But, closer to home, Padel4All now has a fantastic facility at Garon Park and centre manager Sam Jakes has been delighted with the uptake so far.

“It’s been very well received and we’re very lucky to have a lot of sporting complexes around us as well,” said Jakes.

“We’ve got the community trust next to us who we have a good relationship with, Fusion and the golf club too so we’re a hub of sport here now.

“But Padel is becoming really popular here and we’re nearly at 100 members now which is great.”

The centre in Southend boasts three covered courts and one open air show court and Jakes was keen to stress the sport was suitable for all.

“We have kids, adults and grandparents who all play the sport and everyone has said how good it is to play,” said Jakes.

“No-one has said anything negative at all.

“It’s fun and easy and you can play with anybody on court too.”

Echo: Fine facility - the Padel4All Centre in Southend Fine facility - the Padel4All Centre in Southend

Padel is played in doubles format and, having tried it out myself, as part of the story I can testify to it being fun and easy to play.

But how would Jakes describe the sport to those who have yet to seen it?

“The simplest way to describe it is a cross between tennis and squash,” said Jakes.

“It’s played on a shorter court with walls which provide a new element to the sport.

“The scoring system is like tennis and easy to use and the squash side of things includes playing a boast off the glass.

“It’s very exciting and new for people to play.

“It’s a real leveller too.”

And Jakes has seen that first hand since coming to Southend.

“I’ve brought my family down here who have no racket experience whatsoever but after 20 minutes of explaining the basics we were able to play a full set and it was really close,” said Jakes.

“Anyone can learn the game really quickly and there’s always a great stage for development whatever level you’re at.”

Padel4All caters for players of all standards and are keen to see even more people trying out the sport.

“Everyone is welcome and we have a website,, where you can create a free account,” said Jakes.

“From there you can see all the different sessions we run and what courts we have.

“There’s a membership option and also a bespoke intro which is £5 per person.

“It’s great fun and we’d love more people to come along and try it out.”


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