Sports activities pattern: “With padel I rediscovered my ardour for sport”

by Charlotte Vanbever

It’s the stylish sport, far more well-liked than hockey, within the means of catching up with tennis by the variety of gamers. The padel has established itself, in three years, as a social phenomenon. Would hitting the ball subsequently be inside everybody’s attain? Explanations with the president of the World Padel Tour in Belgium and the padel ambassador with us, already a Belgian tennis idol, Sabine Appelmans

An exhibition match, the Belfius Padel Summer season Gala, which gathers, in Knokke on the finish of the summer season, simply over 10,000 spectators for 2 years, should conceal a star sport. Nevertheless, right here we aren’t speaking about soccer or tennis, however about padel. Sure this sport that’s practiced in double, with a small racket (with out string) on ​​a floor surrounded by home windows. “A cost-effective sport: the fields are artificial, no upkeep required. We play there nearly all 12 months, besides when it rains. And you’ll put three padel courts on a single tennis court docket “. However above all, provides Vincent Laureyssens, president of the World Padel Tour Belgium, it’s a pleasant sport. “Within the padel you possibly can have enjoyable after 1 / 4 of an hour”. The confinement was sufficient for the mania to take maintain. “A match was lacking to start out the fireplace. And it was Covid. 20 years in the past we would not have been in a position to try this. Immediately with social networks we rapidly launch video games with companions. It is a sport that binds “..

In Belgium, there are actually round 175,000 padel followers. However the skilled degree of the game stays unknown. “There isn’t any tv and broadcasting of the massive tournaments. That is the place folks will keep in mind the names of huge stars like Miguel Lamperti.assures Vincent Laureyssens.

Sabine Appelmans: “With the padel I rediscovered my ardour for sport”

“The primary time I performed padel, 4 years in the past, I used to be not instantly a fan. Throughout Covid, I performed it once more. I received into it a little bit bit extra and I had the identical feeling I had after I was enjoying tennis. The eagerness for sport was returning. I have not had this sense of all the time desirous to play for a very long time! “. That is how Sabine Appelmans, our first nice skilled tennis participant – would attain sixteenth place on this planet rankings within the 90s – she fell in love along with her padel. Immediately she is the smiling ambassador. Assembly with a passionate snowshoe champion … massive and small.


In padel have you ever discovered the need to play or to win?

Play. The need to win stays a bit however I am a realist. I do not count on padel to have the identical outcomes as tennis (smile)! I really feel like I nonetheless have room for enchancment and that is the fantastic thing about being athletic: figuring out that you would be able to nonetheless progress.

However do you essentially play padel effectively when you find yourself a great (and even wonderful in your case) tennis participant?

It’s a nice benefit, particularly firstly, since you really feel the ball and the beginning approach in padel is more easy than in tennis. However when you begin enjoying at a greater degree, that you must assume utterly otherwise than in tennis. You need to play towards your instinct. You need to hit, however not all the time, it isn’t all the time one of the best answer. The positions on the pitch are essential, even the tactical selections. You will need to have a number of endurance. It’s one other recreation.

Did you are taking classes?

Sure, and I nonetheless suggest doing it.

You say the beginning approach is less complicated than in tennis …

Sure. It’s true that at first it’s simpler to be taught, it is rather accessible. For instance the serve: in tennis it’s fairly tough. Within the padel, it’s a spoon service. However, on a padel court docket, there’s all the time the aspect of shock when enjoying with the home windows, the fence …

Why is padel so well-liked?

Sure, as a result of it’s performed in doubles. We’re 4 on a small pitch, it is rather social, we’re all the time in touch with our teammate but additionally with our opponents who’re shut. You need to talk so much within the area together with your accomplice.

I play padel to please myself and tennis to please another person!

Will we harm ourselves much less?

I do not assume so. As a result of it’s a sport that requires a number of response and many individuals play with out warming up. In addition to, you must take note of the home windows too … (laughs)

Is an hour of padel bodily equal to an hour of tennis?

At a great degree of padel, these are very lengthy rallies, longer than in tennis and you really want a great bodily situation there. It is totally different. Distances are shorter, however you all the time should be on the transfer and also you even have to leap so much for matches. And that is tough! (You smile)

Can padel develop into the brand new high sport on this planet?

There’s nonetheless a big margin. It’s not but an Olympic sport, they speak about it for some Olympics. In Europe it’s beginning to take maintain, even when there are nonetheless international locations like Germany the place there’s little play.

Does an expert padel participant earn a dwelling?

Sure, whether it is ranked within the high 10 and even 20. However nothing akin to tennis, particularly within the prize pool. They’ve good sponsors, particularly racket manufacturers. Additionally, there are extra manufacturers of padel rackets than tennis rackets.

Reassure us, do you continue to play tennis anyway?

Once in a while. However I like enjoying padel far more. I play padel to please myself and tennis to please another person. (laughs)

WPT Knokke

Do not you take pleasure in enjoying tennis anymore?

Sure, a little bit, however to not compete. As a result of I do know what I used to be able to and now I’ve hit the ball and I believe I am not enjoying effectively.

Do you give classes?

We arrange tennis programs in Portugal with Dick Norman (former Belgian skilled, ed) and I train there. However I do not train frequently in Belgium.

Have not you ever needed to open your personal tennis college?

Probably not. And it is enjoyable as a result of in padel it’s totally different: usually we are going to construct a padel membership the place I’ll train.

Are you pleased with what you may have achieved in your tennis profession? You had been the primary Belgian participant to characterize us so extremely on this sport …

That is one thing I spotted after my profession. I all the time felt like I did not profit a lot from it after I was a participant as a result of there was all the time stress, even in case you win a match, the subsequent day is coaching after which one other match. You actually do not have time to have enjoyable. However wanting again, sure, I am blissful.

Do you remorse having interrupted your profession at 29, if you had been nonetheless twenty second on this planet?

I’ve all the time instructed the women who got here after me to play a little bit greater than me. As a result of you possibly can solely play high-level tennis at that age and if you cease it is undoubtedly over. I’ve by no means regretted having stopped however somewhat not having been capable of play 2.3 years having enjoyable. However persevering with and never getting the identical outcomes was not attainable for me.

Did you retain the spirit of competitors?

Sure, that also stays! (You smile)

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