Padel/Non-olympic sport disciplineEVENTS
- Men's Doubles
- Women's Doubles
- Mixed Doubles
Padel - the fastest growing sport in the world
A unique spectacle in Kraków’s Main Square
The five-day padel tournament will feature 128 players from all over Europe, who will fight for the medals of the European Games. There will be 3 events in the programme: men’s, women’s and mixed doubles. The semifinals and final matches (on Sunday, June 25) will be played under unique circumstances. The 720 sports enthusiasts gathered in the stands will watch the best padel players amidst the historical buildings on the Main Square in Kraków. We are likely to be thrilled equally by the sports and its surroundings!
The rapid career of the padle – history of the discipline
Padel, a relatively new sport, is rapidly winning the hearts of sports lovers around the world. At first glance, it combines elements of tennis and squash. At the European Games Kraków-Małopolska 2023, we will admire the semi-finals and finals will be held in very picturesque setting – the Main Square in Kraków!
As we know, the neccessity is the mother of invention. That’s when brilliant ideas come to life – and that case wasn’t any different. Padel was invented in 1969 by a Mexican businessman living in Acapulco, Enrique Corcuera. Legend has it that while playing fronton the ball was continuously getting away from his neighbour, so he decided to create his own game, in which the court would be surrounded by walls taking part in the game. In 1974, his friend, Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe, fell in love with the sport, and brought it to Spain to build the first professional courts in Marbella.
In the 1980s, padel became a “social phenomenon” in Argentina and then other South American countries. On July 12, 1991, in La Moraleja, Madrid, representatives from Spain, Argentina and Uruguay formed the International Padel Federation. A year later, the first championship was held in the same city, with representatives from eight countries.
Today padel is the fastest-growing sport in the world. Based on racket sales, it is estimated that 12 million people play it. In Spain, it is the second most popular sport after soccer, and in Sweden, it is already played by more than 5% of the population. In Poland, it’s a relatively new sport – the Polish Padel Federation was established in 2017. After the upcoming European Games, we can be almost certain that our country will also experience the “padle boom”.