Tucked amongst the magnificent skyscrapers of Bonifacio Global City (BGC) is the upcoming Manila Padel Club, a community that brings together the people behind significant sectors of knowledge, business expertise, financial, technical, and sports development, with a passion for playing padel, one of the world’s fastest-growing sports.
For starters, padel is a sport that is often described as "tennis with walls" or "squash in the sun". In an exclusive interview, Manila Padel Club CEO and co-founder Alenna Dawn shares how she seeks to integrate padel into the fabric of social sports in the Philippines.
"We are incredibly excited about integrating padel into the local sports scene. To achieve this, we need to break down barriers to entry and grow the game by bringing new and different audiences into the sport. Indeed, one of our key strategies is to find ways to attract participation, and padel is a fantastic example of that. It’s an innovative format of tennis that’s fun, sociable and easy to play," she tells Tatler.
Padel vs Tennis
While both sports seem to look the same, there are many things that differentiate padel from tennis, these include racket, ball, types of service, court dimensions, court surface, and even net height. But the most identifiable difference between the two is the glass walls that surround the padel court.
According to Dawn, the sport can be played in groups of mixed ages and abilities. "Padel is not power-dominant so it is ideal for friends and families. Challenge family and friends or get matched with new friends," she explains.
Padel players use special rackets that have smaller frames. Instead of the typical tennis racket that uses nylon strings, padel rackets have solid impact surfaces that are usually made up of rubber. The padel rackers are pretty light, allowing players to have enough control to put the ball on a good spot.