We are happy to announce our first sponsorship with a professional athlete, Joaquin Granados. A padel player from Barcelona, Spain, he lives in Sydney and competes in the Australian padel circuit and for the NSW padel team.
Since padel is a growing sport, many of you might be wondering what it is exactly.
Thought of as a mix between tennis and squash, or even the little brother of tennis, padel is played in a kind of “cage” with glass walls. The main difference is that it’s played on a smaller court, and thanks to the walls, players can enjoy much longer rallies. It’s easier to learn, and unlike tennis, you can have a lot of fun the very first time you play.
Padel is one of the world’s fastest-growing sports today. Every year many more courts are built, and even with the impact of COVID, growth has been so rapid that brands and retailers are having supply issues. Manufacturing can’t keep up with the pace of growth.
Padel is played in all five continents, and more than 60 countries have public courts. There are 41 federations and more than 12 million active players worldwide. In Spain, it’s the second most played sport, while in Sweden in just one year, more than 1,000 courts have been built. Recognized as an international sport by the IOC (International Olympic Committee), padel will very soon be in the Olympic games.
In Australia, there is one club with four courts in Sydney, with two more under construction that will be ready before the end of this year. There is another club in Gold Coast with three courts which is adding two more courts this year because of high demand. In Perth, there is one club with three courts and one private court in Adelaide. This is just the beginning.
The reason for this sponsorship is both to support the growth of padel throughout the Asia-Pacific region and the career of Joaquin in Australia.
Joaquin has competed with and against the current best players in the world. He previously competed on the Catalan circuit, which is the best circuit in Spain after the World Padel Tour, and he has been ranked in the top 10 teams. He also played for the Royal Tennis Club of Barcelona, winning the regional and national championships several times. In those tournaments, Joaquin competed against players such as Fernando Belasteguin (best player in the history of padel and No. 1 for more than 16 years) and Maxi Sanchez (a top player that has been No. 1 in the world). He also played alongside other stars such as Uri Botello (world finalist 2018) and Cristian Gutierrez (World Champion 2012).
His journey in padel in Australia has just started. The 2020 circuit was canceled because of COVID; however, the padel state of origin went ahead, and Joaquin was selected to play for NSW, who narrowly lost to Queensland in very tight matches. We are hoping COVID doesn’t affect much of the 2021 calendar, and we can see him competing and reaching his goals for this season: winning the Padel State of Origin 2021 and ending the year ranked number one in Australia.