MALDON is now home to a new sport that comes all the way from Mexico.

Padel, a sport similar to tennis, will be available for visitors to play at the new dedicated Padel Club in the Park Drive Health Club in Park Drive.

Invented in the 1960s, the sport spread over Latin America and is now played over the world.

A padel court is half the size of a normal tennis court and it is enclosed with wire framing that players can hit the ball against like squash.

The rackets or ‘padels’ are like giant table tennis bats and slightly softer tennis balls are used.

The service is run by RT Padel, an Essex based company who have managed a padel club in Kelvedon.

Owners Richard Hall-Smith and Toby Bawden used an old tennis court in the health club and developed the space into three new padel courts.

Toby Bawden, former head coach at the tennis club at the University of Essex, said he and his business partner fell in love with the sport three years ago when they played it in Spain.

Toby said: “It’s brilliant, you’re mixing tennis with squash and it’s a brilliant workout.

“The best bit is that it’s easy to pick up. Anyone can play.

“I had a group come in who had never played and within an hour, we were playing a full game.”

“Then we had the idea of bringing it back to the UK. We bought some courts at the Prested health club and it was such a success that we now do it full time.”

“This year, we got some funding and we wanted to have a more permanent home and we saw Maldon.

“For our business, this will be our main base.”

The duo hope to grow their business across the East of England with a new centre built every two years.

The club has an upcoming event on September 22.

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