LISTEN: Big Island Championships entries as padel continues to grow

A BIG inter-insular rematch in padel – often considered the world’s fastest-growing sport – is on the cards for July.

Padel players Patrick Ogier and Sara Woolland are guests on this week’s Guernsey Press Sport Podcast.	     (29596453)
Padel players Patrick Ogier and Sara Woolland are guests on this week’s Guernsey Press Sport Podcast. (29596453)

But first, local players will get a welcome touch of tournament experience as the second Rocq Capital Island Championships unfold at Longcamps throughout this weekend.

It is an occasion that reigning doubles champions Patrick Ogier and Sara Woolland thoroughly look forward to.

Speaking on the latest Guernsey Press Sport Podcast – out now – the duo discussed the upcoming event, including the impressive 132-strong entry.

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‘Last year they agreed to put it on because we were all in lockdown, everybody was on the island, and it was a good idea,’ Woolland said.

‘A few people were quite scared to enter, including me, but we all got through it.

‘This year, there’s a lot more entries, a lot more chat in the bar about it, so I think it will be good fun.’

This is for a tournament which features five different categories – men, women and mixed, plus veteran draws for both genders – and culminates in Sunday afternoon’s finals.

Both podcast guests also testified to the sport’s rapid growth, which is becoming evident in Jersey too.

It is now nearly two years ago that hosts Guernsey beat Jersey 10-5 at the inaugural padel inter-insular.

The Caesareans were struggling for numbers back then, but things are moving rapidly, with former tennis professional Scott Clayton now heading a government-backed initiative to boost the sport in the sister isle.

Ogier just so happens to be a close friend of Clayton.

‘He absolutely loves padel,’ Ogier said.

‘He just thinks that it’ll keep growing, so he’s got really involved in it.’

The Island Games gold-medallist tennis player agreed that this could lead to a very competitive inter-insular scene.

It certainly augurs well for padel’s second inter-insular, provisionally taking place on the weekend of 17 July.

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