Alderney plans to double up on padel

The island of Alderney measures 8km2, is famous for its blonde hedgehogs and has just 2,000 inhabitants – and it’s joined neighbours Jersey and Guernsey in embracing the padel revolution, reinvigorating racket sports on the island. The Bandeja reports.

When Alderney decided to join the Channel Islands’ craze for padel who knew the impact it would have. Conceived as an idea in April 2023, it took just 12 weeks for balls to be served on the island’s first major sporting project built in more than a decade. 

And to say padel has been an instant smash would be an understatement, doubling the number of people playing some form of tennis on the island and now with plans pushing ahead to add a second court.

Alderney Week

Located at Alderney Tennis Club, adjacent to the beach at Platte Saline, the new court opened with a fanfare in last August to coincide with Alderney Week, the island’s biggest event of the year.

This was always the plan according to Simon Brazier, founder and chairman of trustees of Alderney Sports Foundation which backed the initiative: “Alderney gets a lot of holidaymakers in August which is why we wanted to get the court open by then,” he said.

“It has been really well received and a lot of praise has to go tennis club chairman Edward Hill who has put a huge amount of effort in. He has worked very hard to get coaches over and there’s been a lot of effort to get locals playing,” added Simon.

Regular club nights, padel clinics for young players, visits from the island’s football club and corporate membership have helped drive interest in the game, which has already proved a huge hit on Alderney’s big brothers Jersey and Guernsey.

“But it’s not just islanders playing,” added Simon. “In summer we had a lot of people playing from the UK mainland and they were saying to us that where they lived they just couldn’t book a court. Consequently, we’ve had people from the UK emailing us to play here.”

Alderney Padel


Building the court demonstrated ‘the will of the people’ according to Simon. The island lacks sports facilities so building introducing padel was not just about following a trend but also about enhancing the lives of the wider community.

“The purpose of the Alderney Sports Foundation is to try and get kids on the island involved in sport. We work with all the sports clubs trying to improve the facilities and get coaches,” said Simon. “We were looking for a sport that was accessible and clearly padel is a sport that people can get into very quickly.

“Alderney has had a pretty tough time economically over the past decade so the ability to get a facility like this on the island isn’t just about padel, it’s critical in supporting young families on the island.”

And when what Simon described as a ‘padel obsessed benefactor’ came forward the project became a reality.


So how easy was getting the court installed given the remoteness of Alderney and the fact it can only reached by ferry from Guernsey? Storms delayed the installation team and the Channel Island’s only tarmac plant closed down, creating headaches for Simon and the team from Hexa Padel which was charged with delivering the £70,000 project.

Simon added: “The biggest issue was logistics. Alderney is like a small village you’d find on the mainland, except it’s surrounded by some of the most difficult seas and with very limited transport links. Bruno, who owns Alderney Shipping, is a trustee of the foundation and he facilitated getting the court from Spain to Poole and then across to Alderney via Guernsey. 

“We worked closely with Hexa Padel, who were fantastic throughout. We also had a very good local builder who helped with the groundwork and we had the support of the local community.”

Hexa Padel had previously installed courts on the Channel Islands and that experience counted given the challenges they faced in meeting the tight deadline. “It didn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility that we could get a court to Alderney and install it. And actually getting the court there wasn’t a problem at all – just more when it got to the island,” said Hexa Padel director Toby Bawden.

“You are talking about 3.5 tonnes of glass. People don’t realise when these trucks arrive it’s a big structure. It’s easy to underestimate the access required and demands of moving that weight of glass.

“Our real challenge was getting the installation team over. There was a storm in the UK so flights and ferries were cancelled. We had to reorganise the team to get back out there to meet the deadline for Alderney Week. We achieved it and by all accounts it’s breathed life into the sport in Alderney.”