-David Lloyd Clubs serves up over 60 new courts in the next year to become UK’s largest padel operator

-Padel is the world’s fastest-growing racquet sport with more than 18 million players in over 90 countries


31 October 2023 - Padel is the world’s fastest-growing racquet sport that you probably haven’t heard of and with A-list celebrities such as David Beckham, Elle MacPherson and the Princess of Wales all reportedly avid fans of the game, it is set to take the UK by storm.

David Lloyd Clubs, Europe’s leading premium health and wellness group is leading the charge when it comes to Padel. Intent on becoming the nation’s largest provider of the sport, it is building 33 brand new courts in 14 UK clubs by the end of the year.

It currently offers nearly 90 Padel courts across the 133 Clubs in nine international countries with further plans for expansion. Additionally, by mid-2025, 170 Padel courts are expected to be available across all its Clubs.

The operator already offers Padel in eight of its UK Clubs at Chigwell, Bushey, Raynes Park, Bicester, Cheadle, Harbour Club Chelsea, as well as its new clubs Rugby and Shawfair, Edinburgh which opened this summer.

With more than 18 million players in over 90 countries worldwide, Padel also has star appeal, with famous fans including Andy Murray, Rafa Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Jurgen Klopp, Peter Crouch and Lionel Messi.

Played in doubles, Padel is a cross between tennis and squash. It’s played in glass-framed courts that are about a third of the size of a full tennis court. Like squash, the walls come into play, increasing the speed of the game. The rules are similar to tennis and the scoring is the same. The ‘padels’ are like giant table tennis bats and the balls are depressurized tennis balls. It is low impact and easy to learn, so ideal for those with little racquet sport experience. It’s tactical, exciting, hard work and great fun and still delivers a fantastic workout.

Simon Pearson, Group Racquets Manager at David Lloyd Clubs said: “We are predicting that Padel will be huge in the UK over the next few years, which is why we are investing in the sport to bring it to clubs across the nation as well as Europe. It is easy to learn, but is also a dynamic and thrilling game and so its easy to see why our nation is captivated by this emerging sport. We hear more and more from our members that they are interested in Padel and so with our expertise in racquet sports, it naturally made sense to invest in this exciting game and give them the chance to discover a new passion.”

The Lawn Tennis Association officially recognised Padel as a discipline of tennis in Britain in 2020 and there are currently around 89,000 players in the UK.  The number one racquet sport in Spain, with an estimated five million players, it’s popularity spread to Italy during the pandemic. Since early 2020 the number of Padel courts in Italy has increased fivefold, up to almost 5,000 and the game looks likely to become the most practised sport after football in Italy.

David Lloyd Clubs offers Padel at 10 of its 30 international clubs in Spain, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland, with further clubs launching soon across Europe, including the Netherlands.


About David Lloyd Leisure Group  

David Lloyd Leisure helps members to live life better with a focus on physical and mental wellbeing and a sense of belonging. We are Europe’s leading premium health, wellness and racquets group operating 133 clubs - 103 clubs in the UK and a further 30 clubs across mainland Europe, comprising three brands David Lloyd Clubs, Harbour Clubs and David Lloyd Meridian Spa and Fitness in Germany.

We continually innovate to offer the best products and services for families and individuals in welcoming surroundings including state-of-the-art gyms, heated indoor and outdoor pools, top-class racquet facilities, well-equipped group exercise studios, luxurious spas, kids club facilities and crèches. Our Clubrooms offer a place to spend time with friends and family or enjoy a bite to eat, our clubs also feature large and inviting spaces to work, relax and socialise.

Our 750,000+ members and over 10,000 team members make a positive impact on the communities and environment in which we operate. We have an expert health and fitness team of over 2000 and more than 680 tennis professionals work with us. David Lloyd Clubs’ racquet facilities are unparalleled with over 1080 tennis courts as well as over 400 badminton and squash courts. 

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