Rackets Cubed has launched its first padel programme.
Nineteen children in Year 5 from Tolworth Primary School in Kingston-upon-Thames, south-east London, started a 10-week pilot programme this week at Surbiton Rackets and Fitness Club, whose padel courts opened in November.
The programme, which began on Thursday (12 January), introduces children to padel, while school staff hold maths lessons in the clubhouse. The club’s chef provides nutritious hot food for the children to eat in the bar.
The 19 pupils were invited by the school to participate in the programme as it was felt that for various reasons they would all individually benefit from the opportunity.
The programme was launched by Becky Downes who was perfectly placed to coordinate it as she works for both partners in the project! She is a part-time teacher at Tolworth Primary and also London Programme Manager for Rackets Cubed. She is also a tennis and padel-playing member at Surbiton.
The children walked from school to the club, split into two groups and each group took turns to complete a maths activity with their teacher indoors and to be introduced to the basic skills of padel by the club’s resident padel coach Nick Gray. They then swapped over before enjoying a hot meal.
All children were supplied with a new bat, supplied at cost price for the programme by Adidas.
“They absolutely loved it,” Becky reported. “One boy said, ‘This was the best thing I’ve ever done – and the chef was five-star! It was the best pasta I’ve ever eaten.’
“The children loved the enclosed space and the floodlights – it felt very safe for them and it was nice that the coach didn’t need to shout. They crave a calm, organised setting and we definitely provided that.
“There were loads of smiles and they were full of energy and enthusiasm. Most of all, they felt really special. As a group, they really gelled and it was a hugely positive experience for all of them.”
The pilot runs up until Easter when the school will decide if they want to turn it into a permanent programme. We are confident that this will happen as 100% of our trial tennis and squash programmes have become permanent.
Michael Hill, Rackets Cubed founder, said: “We are delighted to expand our nationwide range of programmes to include padel. Many thanks to Becky for her hard work in putting this project together and a warm welcome to Tolworth Primary School and Surbiton Rackets and Fitness Club into the Rackets Cubed family!”