Former Springboks Try Padel

Former Spingbok rugby players try padel

Former Springboks Try Padel

Padel SA was down at Val de Vie Estate this past Saturday lending a hand in the running of their padel tournament, the highlight for the day’s activities that formed part of their 30 Days of Movement campaign.

Some of South Africa’s biggest sporting legends and Laureus sports ambassadors were also in attendance. Former Springbok teammates and World Cup winners Bryan Habana and Jean de Villiers, as well as former Olympic swimming champion and now VdV marketing director Ryk Neethling, were all playing padel alongside some of the very excited residents. Bryan and Ryk formed quite a formidable partnership but were eventually beaten by a resident team that would go on to win the tournament.

It was a pretty gloomy and rather chilly way to kick-off the spring season, but padel got the blood pumping and the smiles blossoming. It also got some good attention and drew in a decent crowd, many of whom had never seen or even heard of the game before but went away with padel now firmly on the mind. Rubbing shoulders with some former Springbok legends and an Olympic champion was just the cherry on top of a super fun and successful day for all in attendance.

The friendly tournament was eventually competed by two of the local teams, with the winners walking away with bragging rights at Val de Vie, for now…

Video to follow soon!

Padel At The Olympics

Padel at the Olympics

Padel Hopeful For Olympic Recognition

The Olympics are the biggest stage for many a sport and the ultimate dream for thousands of athletes. Every four years an individual or team has the honour of competing for the ultimate prize in their sporting discipline, an Olympic gold medal.

There are now 33 sports, up from 28 in 2016, that are contested at the games. The five new sports included for Tokyo 2021 are baseball, karate, sport climbing, skateboarding, and surfing. The decision for adding new sports is up to the organising committee of the next host city to propose the sports it feels should be included, a vote is then carried out to see which of these fits the bill.

Although padel has grown rapidly over the past decade, there are still many countries where it is relatively unknown, South Africa being one of them. One of the key criteria for a sport to be added to the Olympics is that it is practiced in a minimum of 75 countries on 4 continents by men and a minimum of 40 countries on 3 continents by women.

Currently, there are more than 12 million players in 78 Countries, but there are only 40 national federations recognised by the International Padel Federation.

The International Padel Federation has had some key meetings in the past year and seems to be on the right path in getting padel onto the list of potential new sports to be included for the Olympic Games in Paris.

Padel At Sea

A padel court on a super yacht

Padel At Sea

A padel court on a super yacht

Padel has made the jump from land to sea, not on a floating barge or with waterproof equipment but on a superyacht! The world-renowned luxury yacht builders Abeking & Rasmussen launched the 98.4m (322′), Aviva, in 2017, and as far we know it is the only padel court on any vessel in the world. She is also one of the biggest, sitting at number 36 in the list of World's Largest Yachts. The gym and padel court are not only for the owner and his guests but are also open to the crew, to keep fit and active while at sea. On a boat of this size, you could probably have a real padel tournament with the amount of crew she has. The only thing we are not quite sure about is playing a match while crossing the stormy seas, we have a feeling the game will be a very topsy-turvy affair.

First Padel Court Launched In South Africa

Padel SA with the first padel court launched in South Africa


Padel SA with the first padel court launched in South Africa

The first padel court in South Africa was launched at Val De Vie in Paarl on the Saturday, the same day the Springboks were playing in the World Cup final in Japan.

It was a scorching spring's day to kick-off an action-packed sports day, with padel taking centre stage as the new kid on the block. Many people were in attendance, including a world champion himself, Mr Ryk Neetling. Mr Neetling is now Marketing Director at Val De Vie and was the brainchild behind bringing padel to the estate. Padel SA was there to lend a hand and share our knowledge of the game, helping to get the eager crowd going by explaining the rules and giving a demonstration into how padel is played. We even played a game with Ryk himself, of which we are sure he thoroughly enjoyed.

After a good workout everyone raced off to their venue of choice to get a good seat to watch the game and what would turn out to be one of the best days in South Africa's sporting history for not one but two amazing reasons...