LTA announced as official National Governing Body of Padel

13/11/2020

| Tennis Wales

The LTA have announced that padel has now been officially recognised as a discipline of tennis in
Britain, with the LTA being confirmed as its national governing body.


The application for official status was approved by Sport England, Sport Scotland and Sport Wales,
with all three home country sports councils now recognising the sport as a discipline of tennis. In
addition, Sport England has recognised the LTA as the national governing body for padel, with
sportscotland and Sport Wales recognising the LTA through Tennis Scotland and Tennis Wales
respectively.


The announcement follows in the integration of padel into the LTA in May 2019 as a move by the
governing body to help grow the sport by helping to retain existing players and create a new route
into the sport for new players. It forms part of the LTA’s five-year strategy to open up tennis to
more people and widen the sport’s appeal.


Padel, which originated in Mexico in 1969, is a form of tennis that is easy to play, fun and
extremely sociable. It is played mainly in a doubles format on an enclosed court about a third of the
size of a tennis court and can be played in groups of mixed ages and abilities, as it is not power
dominant. The rules are broadly the same as tennis, although you serve underhand and the walls
are used as part of the game with the ball allowed to bounce off them.

One of the fastest growing sports across continental Europe, padel has gained increasing
popularity over recent years, with over six million people currently playing in Spain.
Popularity is growing on home soil too, with a total of 82 padel courts currently in Great Britain and
more to follow. To coincide with gaining recognised status, the LTA has published a padel
development plan, outlining its ambition to grow the sport. With an initial focus placed on
2 / 12/11/2020 increasing infrastructure the governing body estimates a total of 400 padel courts will be in place by 2023.

Speaking about the official recognition of padel, Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston MP
commented:
“When I visited the LTA at the National Tennis Centre in September I was able to try out padel,
and really enjoyed the format of the game. The LTA’s recognition as the National Governing Body
will provide a platform to further grow padel, and I welcome the initiatives that they have planned to
further develop the sport, particularly focused on developing more courts for people to play. Sports
like tennis provide significant physical and mental health benefits, and I encourage everyone to try
this fun, social and dynamic format of the game, which can cater to people of all ages and
abilities.”


Scott Lloyd, Chief Executive of the LTA added:
“Recognition of padel as an official discipline of tennis and confirmation that the LTA will be the
national governing body is an important step forward in the development of the sport.
One of the LTA’s key strategies is to find new ways to grow participation and padel is an innovative
format of tennis that’s fun, flexible and easy to play. By integrating padel, we have provided an
immediate platform to facilitate the organic growth of the sport, with tennis venues throughout
Great Britain already exploring the potential opportunities it can bring to a facility. There is an
exciting future for padel and we will look to grow it as a complementary form of tennis that benefits
our sport as a whole.”


Already a firm fan of the sport, Britain’s seven-time Grand Slam doubles champion Jamie
Murray said:

“I’ve played a lot of Padel over the last few years and I think it’s a great sport. It’s a very social
sport that can be played with friends and family of all ages and abilities. I think it’s a great addition
for clubs as a way to engage current members and attract new members into their respective
clubs.”

The LTA’s drive to grow padel as part of tennis in Britain follows the likes of tennis federations in
France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands, who have already integrated padel into their
competition structures and operational delivery.

What does official recognition mean?
Whilst recognition in itself does not guarantee funding, clubs and local organisations looking to
develop the sport and provide new facilities will now be able to apply for funding programmes that
3 / 12/11/2020 are put in place by Sport England, sportscotland and Sport Wales, subject to them meeting the
conditions and criteria of their specific funding programmes.

Padel will be featured on BBC Children in Need’s 2020 Appeal Night this evening, as Sir Andy
Murray and Peter Crouch take to the court in a sporting match-up like no other. Viewers can tune
in from 7pm on BBC One.

For more information about padel or to view the LTA’s full padel development plan and find out
how to get involved growing the sport, click here.

Share article

  • Print