Daniel Alfredsson: Former Senators captain bringing padel to Ottawa

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Transfer apart, pickleball. There’s a brand new racket on the town—sport, that’s.

It’s referred to as padel, and its reputation is exploding in Europe. A Hockey Corridor of Fame nominee who has a ardour for the sport has arrange a courtroom in Ottawa for anybody who desires to study.

It’s fast and performed in pairs. Scoring is similar as tennis, however the courtroom is three-quarters the scale, enclosed like racketball, and the partitions are honest sport. 

Padel is shortly gaining reputation in Sweden. Former Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who spends his summers there and has been enjoying for years, determined it was time to deliver the game throughout the Atlantic.

“It’s the fastest-growing sport in Sweden. It’s simply exploded from six courts in 2014 to now over 5,000 this yr,” Alfredsson mentioned. “The ball can bounce on the bottom, hit the wall, you possibly can hit the wall once more over you possibly can volley immediately. So there may be lots of elements, it’s very dynamic and lots of shifting issues on a regular basis.”

The padel racket is smaller than a tennis racket and there are not any strings. It’s thicker, crammed with cork, and has holes for airflow. The ball appears equivalent to its tennis counterpart, however is much less dense, lowering bounce. 

“It doesn’t appear to be when you’re watching folks enjoying that you just’re operating a ton you don’t run as a lot as tennis, however you undoubtedly get an excellent work out,” says Alfredsson, including that one other interesting facet of padel is that it may be picked up shortly.

“It’s really easy to study in comparison with tennis. Tennis takes lots of follow and time to be good and lots of time on the courtroom. Right here you possibly can take a newbie and provides him classes for forty minutes they usually can play a match and when folks strive it as soon as then they’re hooked they usually preserve coming again.”

This yr, Alfredsson and his brother Henric teamed up with the Rideau Sports activities Centre to put in a courtroom that doesn’t require a membership to play. A one-hour courtroom rental is $55 which incorporates all of the gear.

“Padel for me is enjoyable as a result of it’s a simple studying curve,” says Niki Bridgland, RSC founder and CEO. “We additionally present the chance for folks to discover ways to play by means of packages so there’s a likelihood to satisfy different individuals who you possibly can play with in case you don’t know anyone who performs padel and an opportunity to study the game.”

Bridgland says that the courtroom can be open till October and plans to proceed the partnership with the Alfredssons for years to come back, because the courtroom has been a well-liked addition on the centre.

“It’s a excellent date evening or household evening or good friend evening,” says Bridgland. “We’ve got a restaurant on web site referred to as the Bridge Public Home so you possibly can proceed the enjoyable off courtroom after your sport and have an opportunity to socialize and have enjoyable collectively.”

Whereas Alfredsson says padel has not surpassed his love for tennis, it’s getting shut. And he hopes to get some Ottawa Senators gamers within the sport.

“I’m not an enormous fan of doubles tennis, however padel we all the time play doubles and I like it,” he says. “The social facet when you’re 4 gamers on the courtroom on a regular basis and also you’re all the time concerned … it looks as if it correlates rather a lot to hockey.

“Clearly the boards and anticipation and it’s actually good on your hand-eye coordination  so I can see why it’s that widespread among the many hockey gamers and it’s one thing we’ll attempt to get among the Sens guys out right here for.”

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