Central London Alliance - A London Love Affair
JAMES ROSE believes that Game4Padel’s installation of a new Instantpadel court at The Crescent in Tower Hill is the perfect example of how good things can happen in limited space.
Our latest installation is part of an initiative by The Central London Alliance which will see the padel court take centre stage for a 3-month festival right in the heart of London spanning the period April 29 to July 14.
The Crescent was originally built during the Georgian era between 1767 and 1774 and was almost completely destroyed during the Blitz of World War II before being rebuilt in the 1960s to replicate the iconic original edifice created by the renowned Georgian architect George Dance.
Now thanks to our collaboration with the CLA this historic Tower Hill address will have a vibrant new sporting life and Game4Padel’s National Development Manager admitted his delight about the prospect.
James said: “It has been really exiting for Game4Padel to work with the CLA to install an Instantpadel modular court at The Crescent, Tower Hill. We are in front of the Tower Suites – a 5-star hotel owned by Blue Orchid Hotels – an iconic venue from which you can see the Tower of London and out across Tower Bridge.
“The Central London Alliance has been both forward thinking and creative with space in building the padel court for a 3-month festival in the heart of the City of London and this venue is right outside Tower Hill Tube Station (District and Circle Lines) and Tower Gateway (DLR) which means the court is very accessible, giving city workers, tourists, and residents the opportunity to play and to try padel.
“On Thursday we launched the court with some introductory sessions and games for stakeholders and clients and there is no doubt that this was another great step for getting padel out there.
“The court will be in situ for CLA’s ‘Padel Festival’ which will run until 14 July – they are promoting a corporate league and hosting events for the local community, but the court is also available for public bookings via their website www.londonloveaffair.com.
“The CLA has transformed The Crescent with landscaping around the court, seating, and a bar terrace so that people can sit and watch padel and maybe enjoy a drink while they do so in the nice evenings to come this summer.
“G4P’s pop-up court in Westfield London’s central Atrium last November was a tremendous 3-day activation, but now CLA’s cool court popping up in The Crescent will show that even with limited space you can make really good things happen.”
This will be the first time that padel, recognised as the world’s fastest-growing sport, has been on offer in the City of London.
Brought to the City by the Central London Alliance in partnership with Aldgate Connect, Eastern City Business Improvement District (EC BID) and Blue Orchid Hospitality, the pop-up has been designed to drive footfall to the Square Mile, encourage spend and dwell time during quieter periods, and assist with the City’s economic recovery.
The Padel Tennis Festival has been delivered to support the City of London Corporation’s Destination City initiative – a programme which aims to transform the Square Mile’s leisure offer and of course the temporary padel court has been provided by Game4Padel, the UK’s largest padel operator. Game4Padel will also be working with the Central London Alliance to help drive use of the court by people in the local community.
Reflecting on the success of Game4Padel’s launch-day introductory sessions James admitted he had found the experience both incredibly rewarding and encouraging: “At Thursday’s introductory session, none of the stakeholders had played padel before but you take them on that journey and tell them: ‘You will be playing in 15-minutes time!’ and they look at you as if that is impossible.
“Then they get the racket in their hand, make contact with the ball and the smiles just come and then they are on that journey and you can’t get them off the court!
“To keep seeing that reaction is just so rewarding but it is also what is attracting non-players to padel as they are instantly having fun, feeling good and enjoying life with a smile on their faces and that is what padel brings to people.”
When it came to the 3-month Padel Festival Tony Matharu, founder and Chairman of Central London Alliance and Blue Orchid Hospitality has no doubt about its value to the City of London and he said: “Launching our Padel Tennis Festival is just the start. Padel, like all sports, has the power to unite, overcome barriers and encourage a healthy and active lifestyle. We hope our padel court will be a place where workers and visitors are a part of London’s newest pioneering spirit, have fun in the city, and build lasting relationships throughout this summer and beyond.
“I’m pleased that the BIDs, partners and supporters of the Central London Alliance have come together to join us in this activation; encouraging the public to revisit the City of London, increasing dwell time and assisting with London’s economic recovery, whilst developing an inspiring and vibrant destination and raising urban attractiveness.”
Commenting on behalf of the Aldgate Connect and EC BIDs, Ruth Duston OBE, OC, MD of Primera said: “The City BIDs are dedicated to delivering activities and installations that drive footfall to the Square Mile. The launch of the Padel Tennis Festival is our latest investment to keep the momentum going and continue to develop an inspiring and vibrant destination, for City workers, residents, and visitors alike.
“The City has a long history of pioneering new initiatives so bringing Padel to the Square Mile is following this tradition. We’re excited to welcome a whole new audience to the Square Mile.”
Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, Wendy Hyde, said: “Padel tennis is a sport that is fantastic fun for all the family and growing in popularity. It’s great to welcome it to the City and we just know it will become a must-visit event.”