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‘Participation is going through the roof’: The first Welsh Padel Open tournament attracts over 60 players to Cwmbran

Competitors from across the country and parts of Europe travelled to Cwmbran to compete in the first Welsh Padel Open tournament.

Two women play padel tennis

The Welsh Padel Centre in Croesyceiliog only opened in January 2022. David Cornwell, the club owner, said it felt “great” to host the competition in the town over last week’s bank holiday weekend: “This is the first-ever dedicated padel tournament to be held in Wales which we are very chuffed to be able to hold. We’ve had people flying in from Ireland and Italy to play here.

“We’ve had some excellent matches, some really stunning padel being player here, some top class stuff.” The game is a mix of tennis and squash. There is a net in the middle of the court but players can play shots off the side and rear walls. It’s a game of skill, not power, which makes it ideal for mixed abilities and ages to play together. Players can only serve underarm.

Spectators watch a match at the Wales Padel Open
Spectators watch a match at the Wales Padel Open

The two courts in Cwmbran are covered so the sport can be played throughout the year. But last weekend was a scorcher with temperatures in the town reaching higher than Spain according to David.

“The weather adds to it but obviously having the covers, if it had been raining having the course we would have still carried on. I’ve had lots of thanks for running the tournament and they are delighted. We are looking forward to holding it again in 2024 and people coming back to defend their titles.”

scott fitzgerald
Scott Fitzgerald now lives in Italy but is from Pontypool

Scott Fitzgerald is originally from Pontypool and moved to Italy in 2016. He took part in the Welsh Open. said: “I was able to come back, see family, and have a couple of games of padel. I’ve been trying to get people in Italy to go and try padel, you see how fun the game is, how easy it is to play. Participation is going through the roof.

“From what we see the UK is going to on a big upward spike. I played squash for Wales at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and then I moved over to Italy to take a job as director of squash and head coach of a club. So I originally went to Italy for squash and just because there is padel everywhere you start playing. The body is not what it used to be so it’s a little bit easier on the body, so I started to get into it.”

The Tennis Wales-sponsored event was held over three days, with tournaments for women, men and the 100+,  a doubles game where the age of both competitors must add up to more than 100 with a minimum age of 45.

The tournament winners

Around 60 players competed in three categories.:


  • Winners: Heather Sheridan and Petra Ratajova
  • Runners up: Lucy Cook and Eloise Tait


  • Winners: James Wilkinson and Brian Condren
  • Runners up: Kevin Graff and Gonzalo Lorenzo Blazquez


  • Winners:Chris Price & Hywel Lewis
  • Runners up: Gareth Jones and Aled Hughes

Try padel in Cwmbran

Visit Welsh Padel’s website for more information about the Cwmbran club.



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‘Participation is going through the roof’: The first Welsh Padel Open tournament attracts over 60 players to Cwmbran

a woman playing padel
A competitor at the Welsh Padel Open in Cwmbran