FORMER British number one tennis player Annabel Croft officially opened Wales’ first padel court at Windsor Penarth Lawn Tennis Club.
The event on Wednesday, May 18, saw Ms Croft play padel matches against a number of curious spectators.
The court was installed in April 2021, but the pandemic caused the official opening to be delayed.
Windsor Penarth LTC former chairman Anthony Phillips said how members coming back from Spain commenting on how good padel is was the inspiration behind the court.
Mr Phillips said: “Padel is the fastest growing sport in Europe, you don’t need fantastic racket skills to play.
“It’s fantastic for youngsters and older people, anyone can get on and have a good rally.
“It’s very sociable to play, I play with my kids and get a good rally going.
“We hope having this court here will help padel to rapidly grow in Wales.”
Annabel Croft warming up before playing a padel match
Padel is very similar to tennis, except it is played in a smaller court and is surrounded by glass walls and a steel fence.
The scoring system is the same as in tennis, but the bats are smaller than tennis rackets and are stringless, and the balls are slightly softer.
It is always played in doubles and the ball can be played off the walls, similar to in squash.
It is very popular in Spain where there are an estimated six million players and around 20,000 courts.
Some have estimated that the game will soon become an Olympic event.
Game4Padelinstalled the court at Windsor Penarth LTC and currently has 29 venues open or secured, with more set to come in Wales.
The court at Windsor Penarth is pay to play and can be booked online here.
It costs £6 per hour per person for most people, but for members of Windsor Penarth LTC and members of Game4Padel it costs £4 per hour per person.
To find out more about Penarth, visit the Game4Padel website here.