Pop-up padel courts open in Ipswich for 'world's fastest-growing sport'

A new paddle court has been installed at Ipswich Sports Club

A new paddle court has been installed at Ipswich Sports Club - the sport is similar to tennis, using smaller bats and an enclosed court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Archant

Pop-up padel courts have been installed at Ipswich Sports Club as part of plans to bring the fast-growing sport to the town. 

Pitched as a combination between tennis and squash, the pop-up court, supported by Game4Padel, is now open for players at Henley Road. 

Last week's weather brought out interested players, but ambassadors for the game don't think the changeable spring conditions will put anyone off.

James Rose playing padel at the new courts in Ipswich

James Rose said the opening of Ipswich's new padel courts has been great, especially with the nice weather of last week Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Archant

Speaking at the court on Monday morning, James Rose, national development manager at Game4Padel, said: "Padel is the world's fastest-growing sport.  

"Having lived in Spain I've seen how quickly the game spread - there are courts in every town and they play it in schools and clubs everywhere. It's also been growing really fast in countries like Sweden and Italy.  

"I think the reason the game is so popular is that it's really easy to pick up so you can quite quickly play a good game, even if you haven't had much racket experience before, and that makes it lots of fun.  

"We opened our pop-up court in Ipswich last week and have been really busy.  

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"The glorious weather helped, but you can actually play in all weathers, so we are expecting it to stay busy year-round.  

"Also, you don't have to be a member of the club to play so it's been bringing in new people which is great."

A man and woman enjoying a game of padel at Ipswich Sports Club

Padel has celebrity supporters including Sir Andy Murray and Jurgen Klopp Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Archant

The pop-up court precedes a proposal for four covered courts at Ipswich Sports Club, which will be presented to the borough council with the goal to have them installed over the summer. 

This would form the largest padel centre in East Anglia, which ISC director Alec Livingstone called an "exciting opportunity". 

He said: "We have seen how quickly the game is growing worldwide - it is really sociable, great fun and easy to pick up - you don't need any previous tennis or squash experience to play. 

"I am sure that with the sports club's experience in racket sports, combined with Game4Padel's undoubted expertise, we can deliver an exciting new sporting opportunity for Suffolk."

James Rose, Claire Dealings, Chris Daynes and Maureen Macaillian from Ipswich Sports Club

National Development Manager James Rose, Club member Claire Dealings, Head of Tennis Chris Daynes and Club Member Maureen Macaillian. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND - Credit: Archant