A £1m centre for one of the world’s fastest-growing sports could be coming to Mansfield Town Football Club.
The proposals will be discussed at a planning committee meeting next week, the plans are recommended by the council for approval by the committee, with the proviso of an S106 condition of a £13,800 contribution to bus services.
Padel tennis is a cross between tennis and squash, played in a mesh walled court, and is becoming popular across Europe and beyond.
Italy has seen its number of courts increase by fivefold since early 2020, to around 5,000 in total.
A padel court facility opened at Notts County’s Meadow Lane stadium in Nottingham last November.
Mansfield Town Football Club has now submitted plans for a £1m bespoke facility boasting four courts and a clubhouse at the One Call Stadium.
The game is played in doubles; it is less skill-intensive and more inclusive than tennis, using the walls for longer rallies.
It is already enjoyed by football stars such as Messi, Ronaldo, Beckham and Zidane.
World Padel Academy Mansfield will offer coaching to all levels, from beginners to academy-level, and will hold year-round tournaments in the hopes of growing a new generation of players and professionals.
It will also have a canopy so players can enjoy the game whatever the weather.
Mansfield Town chairman, John Radford, said: “I’ve been playing padel regularly for a few years now in Portugal and it’s one of the most enjoyable sports you can play.
“Padel encourages teamwork, discipline and healthy competition. It’s very easy and a great way to keep active.
“Playing it regularly helps develop healthy fitness habits and I know the people of Mansfield will really enjoy the game. I’m very much looking to playing padel at the club.”
Mansfield Town’s CEO, Carolyn Radford, said: “We are so pleased to be working with World Padel Academy as padel will be a really exciting addition to the football club.
“This project fits with our vision to provide more for Mansfield and it will doubtless help enhance the mental and physical wellbeing of our community.”
James Bowring, chief operating officer of WPA UK, said: “WPA’s expansion strategy into the UK market is extensive as we are working hard to secure a network of venues across the country, but I have to say, I’m very excited to be launching our first fully managed UK venue in my hometown and introduce this amazing game to Mansfield.”
Plans have been submitted to Mansfield District Council and will be determined at a later date.