Edinburgh tennis club to celebrate grand opening of new £200,000 facilities
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After a “soft” opening for members this weekend the local community will have an opportunity to try a fast growing sport which is a combination of tennis and squash with a touch of table tennis skill thrown in free.
It was in 2019 the idea of adding a covered padel court to four existing tennis courts was mooted and president Derek Edwardson says things have moved quickly.
“The idea of providing padel stemmed from discussions with the shopping centre when they were considering a cinema development. We talked about what else might be done to enhance facilities in the area.
“Our club captain, Aly Findlay, had played padel and on holiday I met Scandinavians who assured me it was only going to get bigger. I reckon padel will only start to peak in about a decade.
“We were awarded a sportscotland grant as well as an interest free loan from the Lawn Tennis Association and various other organisations have provided assistance.”
Devotees will be able to pay as they play with a monthly membership of £5 and the covered and lit court costs from £8 an hour to hire. “We require court occupancy of six hours a day to cover outlays” added Edwardson.
These outlays include hiring a consultant familiar with planning regulations and an archaeological dig to ensure no historical artefacts lay undiscovered underneath.
Coach Graeme Soutar says: “Padel is a lot easier to pick up than tennis using the spongy racquet which is a cross in size between a table tennis bat and conventional tennis racquet.
“Also, skills are easily transferable with an emphasis on volleying and with the padel court a third of the size of a tennis court less mobility is required. The fact that it is normally played in doubles format means it is a highly sociable pursuit.”