Annabel Croft has admitted that Game4Padel’s new Edinburgh Park facility left her “blown away” on her first viewing.
The former Wimbledon star, who is now the tennis go-to girl in the UK media world, was on hand in her role as one of our ambassadors to cut the ribbon and pronounce Edinburgh Park: ‘Open!’ yesterday.
Annabel also opened our Windsor Penarth Lawn Tennis Club in May – the first padel club in Wales – and is proving to be a hugely supportive ambassador for Game4Padel when not engaged on her extensive media work for Amazon Prime, and the BBC et al.
Yet when she arrived in Scotland’s capital accompanied by husband and manager Mel Coleman she had no doubt that the state-of-the-art
Edinburgh Park site is, in her expert eyes, our best yet: “Really Edinburgh Park is as good as I have seen. When I drove up with my husband it really was a case of wow, and at night when the lights are on I am sure there will be a certain extra glamour to it. So, I am absolutely blown away by it!” said the former GB No.1 tennis star.
Annabel continued: “I wasn’t exactly sure what I was coming to but once you enter Edinburgh Business Park it really grabs your attention visually.
“The court has a cover over it, which is good in any part of Britain and the blue courts are absolutely stunning. I also love the whole feel of it with the surrounding open spaces, greenery, lovely sculptures, and the wonderful Café Patina just opposite is also so handy.
“I imagine a lot of people in the Edinburgh Business Park will be tempted onto these brilliant blue courts – they are visually stunning with sharp lines and a lovely outlook.
“I think if I were walking or driving past it would catch my eye and I would definitely want to have a go and that is the best compliment you can pay Edinburgh Park.”
Meanwhile Tony Hordon, Managing Director for Edinburgh Park’s developers Parabola, revealed his delight at the opening of the two-court canopied facility and he said: “Padel is going to be a great addition to our facilities here at Edinburgh Park. We have seen how popular the game is becoming all around the UK and we believe the courts will be really busy here as the park grows,” said Hordon.
Also present at yesterday’s opening was one of our co-founders and Chief Operating Officer Peter Gordon, who first conceived the idea to create a fully automated and independent padel facility right at the heart of Edinburgh’s newest business locale.
Recalling the birth of the Edinburgh Park project he said: “The idea came about four years back when I saw an article Parabola had written about their business. As I am involved with sports consultancy I contacted them and ended up jumping on a train to meet the owner of the company in Newcastle and two days later I was appointed as their Sports Consultant.
“I worked with them for about 18 months up until Covid and I introduced them to padel. Their whole team came and played at Thistle Padel Club and it was then that we started to talk about adding padel into the sports provision at Edinburgh Park.
“This is what is classed as a ‘meanwhile development’ – eventually the park will reconfigure with more offices and there are 1800 homes planned but padel is now seen as an integral part of it all.
“Really it is a live, work, play environment that Parabola very much see as a new community and padel as one of the things that will bring people to Edinburgh Park.”
Peter also has no doubt that the first-class travel links to the area will ensure Edinburgh Park will soon become the foremost padel venue in Edinburgh: “We are delighted with the venue and also the facilities in the park. What will really make it here are the tramlines with a tram stop – Edinburgh Park Central – just 150 metres away.
“On top of that the social links with the café and the bar are excellent and I am sure many players will come, play, and then enjoy a coffee and socialise after.
“Game4Padel will also be operating tennis and football, and perhaps basketball 3x3, on the MUGA (multi-sport games area) right next to the dedicated multi-story car park, and then the train station is just five minutes’ walk from here. So anyone this side of Edinburgh or beyond can access it very easily and that is a very big advantage for Edinburgh Park.”