How Padel has helped young people in the UK

Padel is a great sport to take up as it is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. However, I think that padel can have a huge impact on young people’s lives especially and help them with exciting career paths as well as developing social skills from a young age. Padel has helped young people.

I interviewed 3 young padel players from the ages of 15-19 to find out how padel positively changed their life.

Meet Kai Woodgate. 18 years old. padel coach and player.

What were you doing before padel?

“Before padel I wanted to go to university and study sports/coaching. I knew from school and college that I wanted a career in sports and something active, but I didn’t have a definite career path. Padel allowed me to do this without having to study for years at university. Especially with Coronavirus, university would not be a fun experience! I am now a coach and help padel players get better. I am grateful for the sport as it is something I love doing.

What are your goals?

I want padel to grow as a sport, and I want to improve as a coach, I would like to give other people the opportunity that I was given. By training people to become a good padel players so that they could have a career in padel. I know lots of people that have come out of my college and not sure what the next chapter of their life should be. Padel is something that is healthy and enjoyable that they could do. 

How has padel changed/helped you?

It has massively improved my social skills and confidence. I would find it hard before padel to approach people and have small talk with strangers, but now I feel as if I can talk to anyone, which has boosted my happiness and mental health.

 Overall padel has matured me. I enjoy speaking to interesting people from all different backgrounds. I would recommend this to anyone of a similar age to me. Padel has helped young people a lot.”

 

kai woodgate padel

Meet Ethan bardo. 16 years old. padel coach and player.

What were you doing before padel?

“Before padel I was playing a variety of sports, particularly racket sports. I enjoyed them but the minute I found padel, I knew this was the one for me. I quit all my other sports and started properly training this sport every day. Padel is smaller than other sports such as cricket and basketball, so it gave me more of a chance to make it far in the padel world and community.

What are your goals?

I have lots of goals with padel. This sport has motivated me to push myself and focus on what I want to achieve. My ultimate goal is to make the world padel tour qualifiers round. I also want to be in the top 5 UK players by the end of 2022. My current LTA ranking is 57. I have goals with business in padel as well. Padel gave me the opportunity to have a backup plan so I would like to do work in social media, I have already worked with Sam Jones (LTA rank 6) and Nikhil Mohindra (LTA rank 7), doing work for their social media pages. Padel has helped young people so much.

 

ethan bardo player

How has padel changed/helped you?

Padel has matured me and helped me mentally. I have also learnt more team skills, as I would usually always prefer doing something alone. I have learnt to play as a team as padel is a doubles game. We are in lockdown now and without the focus of padel on my business, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. I am so glad I have something to focus on in these tough times.”

Meet Sophie foskett. 15 years old. sponsored player.

What were you doing before padel?

“I was a county level squash player and was frustrated that the squash courts were shut for the majority of 2020. Luckily for me padel was open for most of the year still at the Maldon club. I started playing padel in March 2020 before the first lockdown. Instantly l liked it. My squash skills made it easier for me, and padel helped me as I was able to stay active as it is something I am so used to doing. I was sponsored by Go Padel and Everything Padel in June 2020. The sponsorship gave free lessons with coach Ewan Ramsden, a racket and some clothing from his company, EverythingPadel.”

Talk me through your padel journey

“At the start of my padel journey I was nervous. I felt there was pressure on me due to my sponsorship. I also played in tournaments with coaches which was exciting but also nerve racking! However, padel helped me become more confident and gave me these experiences that I wouldn’t have had. I feel much more confident and I really enjoy tournaments and matches now. I now have goals in padel to play in ranking tournaments next year! 

sponsored players

How has the sport helped you?

“Being in year 11 in secondary school, I have a lot of stress from exams this year, students this year are less prepared than ever. Padel helped me de-stress and separate my work life and social life. It helped me leave my school work at home, and take my mind off it by playing. I now have goals in padel to play in ranking tournaments next year! It has helped me a lot!”