The very super seniors and their ground-breaking tournament
A padel tournament that set out to demonstrate demand for ‘super seniors’ events – especially those for females – within the LTA competition framework has proved a runaway success, with organisers hopeful that padel’s governing body will extend its age categories for women next year. The Bandeja reports
The trail-blazing Super Seniors Padel Festival, held at The Padel Hub in Slough, was open to players aged 59 years or over, with strong support for The Legends Cup (women/men aged 59 years+) and a very positive turn-out for the The Phoenix Cup (women aged 69 years+).
In total some 50 players challenged for the three titles, with competitors travelling from Ireland, Spain and many parts of England to participate, which organisers feel further demonstrated the strong demand for such events.
We wanted to offer a seniors tournament with a more age-balanced approach and prove to the LTA that there are enough 60+ female players for it to start including 60+ category events for women.
Event organiser Sally Brown
The padel festival was the idea of Sally Brown and her friend – and GB Seniors player – Sally Fisher who were discussing the lack of a female 60 years+ category in the LTA seniors calendar; at present male seniors have 40+, 50+ and 60+ categories but females have only 40+ and 50+, leading to 40-year-olds playing against 60-year-olds and vice versa.
“We wanted to offer a seniors tournament with a more age-balanced approach and prove to the LTA that there are enough 60+ female players for it to start including 60+ category events for women,” said Sally Brown. “We wanted to show that there was an appetite for seniors and super seniors and it would be fair to say that we did! It was very well-received, fun, extra social and a lovely atmosphere.
“As I said in my ‘thank you’ speech at the end of the tournament, the players are the future of seniors padel and together we are creating a super pathway for those youngsters out there!” added Sally, who played in the England squad that toured Guernsey and Jersey earlier this year.
Sally and fellow tournament organiser Rosie Connell, with Nicky Horn as tournament director, are now hopeful that the LTA will add a 60+ category for women, potentially towards the end of next year.
And, as Sally Fisher explained, the Super Seniors Padel Festival looks set to have started a trend: “We plan to hold more padel events focussed on super senior players, with another Legends and Phoenix Cup in the summer. We are also exploring a Legends padel training camp in the winter sunshine. 60 is the new 40!”
In the ladies Legends Cup event Heather Sheridan and Sally Pendry clinched the win, with Anthea Hunt and Audrey Henderson runners-up.
Minter Dial and Steve Riley took the men’s Legends Cup title, beating fellow finalists Nigel Garton and Paul Layfield.
And in the Phoenix Cup (ladies aged 69 years+) Rosie Connell and Louise Dalgleish were victorious against Diane Caulkett and Anne Wodhams. 🎾