Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is to become the home of South Yorkshire’s first dedicated Padel Tennis facilities to be developed by Scarborough Group International (SGI), further expanding the sporting opportunities available at the Park and reinforcing its health and wellbeing ethos.
Three Padel Tennis courts are set to be installed alongside the all-weather, professional 3G football pitch in the grounds of the Community Stadium, which is currently under construction as part of SGI’s development agreement with Sheffield City Council.
The courts will be built to the highest specification, with walls of toughened glass, an artificial grass playing surface and floodlighting to allow evening sport to take place.
Invented in Mexico in the 1960’s, Padel Tennis is one of Europe’s fastest growing grassroots sports, played by approximately 20 million people across 30 countries.
It is played in doubles on a court that is roughly a third of the size of a normal tennis court. Scoring is the same as tennis but players are able to play the ball off the walls making it much faster paced, similar to squash.
According to iPadel there are currently 123 Padel Tennis courts across the UK, only three of which are located in Yorkshire – Harrogate, Bradford and Huddersfield. SGI Chairman, Kevin McCabe’s ambition is to change that by installing courts across all of the Group’s developments, including Thorpe Park Leeds and Middlewood Locks in Salford.
Mr McCabe said:“We are extremely proud to be bringing the very first Padel Tennis courts to South Yorkshire. Like so many other people, my family and I fell in love with the game while holidaying in Spain, and have since felt frustrated by the lack of courts in the UK.
“The ambition of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is to become a world-class community for the health, wellbeing, sport, and activity sectors, which we are honoured to be helping bring to life.
“The Community Stadium that we are currently delivering had a space to develop so we thought, what better way to utilise it than to install a few Padel Tennis courts. Now Padel enthusiasts across South Yorkshire, irrespective of age or ability, will have a fantastic community facility right on their doorstep.”
Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is already home to a number of significant institutions including English Institute for Sport Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre and National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, iceSheffield, Sheffield Arena, UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and Oasis Academy Don Valley.
Working with Legacy Park Ltd, SGI is bringing forward a masterplan for a first phase of up to 850,000 sq ft of workspace and ancillary facilities across an 80-acre zone at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.
Already on site and due for completion at the beginning of 2022 is the Community Stadium, and over the coming months SGI will set out its plans for what will be the heart of the Park, including an Enterprise Centre to support start-up and growing businesses in the health, wellbeing, sport and activity sectors.
Jess Stevenson, principal of UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, a technical school for 13 to 19-year-olds that specialises in computing, health sciences and sport science, said: “It’s exciting to see the sporting opportunities for our students and the local community on Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park growing. We welcome the investment in these new facilities.”
The courts are due to be installed in 2022.