Padel to the Metal

in Features

Staying Active and Socialising with a Fun Racquet Sport

As we age, it can become more challenging to stay active and find activities that keep us engaged and socializing with others. This is where padel comes in – a fun and accessible racquet sport that’s perfect for older people in Gibraltar.

Padel is a sport that combines elements of tennis and squash, played on a smaller court surrounded by glass walls. The sport has become increasingly popular in Gibraltar in recent years, and it’s not just for young people. Older people are also discovering the joys of padel, with many finding it to be an ideal way to stay active and socialize with others.

One of the great things about padel is its accessibility. The smaller court and slower pace of the game make it easier for older people to play, even if they haven’t played a racquet sport before. Additionally, padel is a low-impact sport that’s gentler on the joints than other sports, making it an ideal option for older people who may have joint problems or other injuries.

Playing padel can also have significant health benefits for older people. The sport is a great cardiovascular workout, helping to improve endurance, agility, and speed. It also requires players to use their brains, improving cognitive function and reaction time. Padel is a perfect way to keep both the body and mind active, which is essential for maintaining good health as we age.

But perhaps the most significant benefit of padel for older people is the social aspect of the sport. Padel is typically played in doubles, which means players are constantly communicating and working together as a team. This fosters a sense of camaraderie and community that extends beyond the court. Many older people find that playing padel provides a great opportunity to meet new people, make friends, and feel part of a community.

Fortunately, there are many places in Gibraltar where older people can play padel. The Gibraltar Padel Tennis Association’s (GPTA) state-of-the-art facility at the Bayside Sports Complex offers coaching sessions and tournaments for players of all levels, including older people. There are also other venues around the Rock that offer padel, making it easy for older people to find a place to play.

In conclusion, padel is an excellent sport for older people in Gibraltar who want to stay active and socialize with others. With its accessibility, health benefits, and social aspects, padel is an ideal way to stay engaged with the world around us, meet new people, and have fun while doing it. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to try something new, padel is a sport that everyone can enjoy regardless of age.

It’s just like tennis, except fun, easy and totally unpretentious.

Where did Padel come from? 

The roots of padel are found in Acapulco, Mexico, in 1969, when a businessman, Enrique Corcuera, adapted his home squash court to integrate elements of platform tennis, which is essentially a slightly edited, smaller version of tennis that can be played year-round.

Playing on the new court, Corcuera created something he called Paddle Corcuera.

As the story goes, Corcuera would invite friends over to play his newly invented game. One of them, Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, a Spanish prince, was so inspired that he decided to build two courts of his own in his home town of Marbella, in 1974.

Half a century on, padel, as it is now known, is played by more than 25 million people worldwide, and is recognised as one of the world’s fastest-growing sports.

Are padel and tennis balls the same?

A tennis ball has a diameter of between 6.54cm and 6.86cm. A padel tennis ball, meanwhile, has a diameter between 6.35cm and 6.77cm.

Where to play padel? 

Gibraltar is luck to have a  number of courts on the here on The Rock. With Padel being the the no2 sport in Spain and over 22,000 courts through out the country there are many options across the boarder. Courts in in Gib can be found at Sandpits Giibraltar (Gibraltar Sandpits Lawn Tennis Club) and the Bayside Sport Complex.  

What are the rules? 

Padel is scored in sets of six games, with two games difference – or a tiebreaker if the game is split. Best of three sets wins the match and the serve is always underarm.

The Benefits of playing

Besides the fact that it’s easier than tennis, there are plenty of health rewards to be reaped:

  • • It improves cardiovascular fitness
  • • It helps build core, glute and leg strength
  • • It improves balance
  • • It improves coordination
  • • It improves mental focus
  • It helps ‘delay mental ageing as it requires constant concentration and change of tactics’
  • It’s a great form of social interaction

Padel Gear:

  • A padel racket (these should be provided at your local club, but as they’re usually made of plastic and foam, they’re super affordable for any of you who would like to invest in your own)
  • Depressurised balls (slightly smaller than tennis balls)
  • General activewear
  • Padel or clay court shoes (these may not be essential, depending on where you play – standard trainers can also work)

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