Padel Hub rolls out UK firsts with Slough opening
Charles Winterton is a man on a mission to shake-up the UK padel scene – and in doing so is scoring a fistful of firsts.
His inaugural opening – the Padel Hub in his home town of Slough – launches in July with a menu of membership options plus pay-and-play. It will be the first club to roll-out Padel Mates’ ground-breaking new court booking app, the first club to provide a taxi shuttle service for members and one of the first to train the next generation of home-grown coaches via padel legend Mauri Andrini’s Hello Padel Academy.
It’s an impressive tick list for the entrepreneur, who’s already eyeing up his next move, with plans for more Padel Hubs around the M25 and on the south coast.
His USP is quite simple: “We want to build clubs where you don’t want to go home,” Charles said. “Members will be able to play as much as they like in a place that has the feel of an old fashioned tennis club. We want it to be a fun place to be that offers high-end facilities to the whole family.”
The five court indoor centre, in a commercial unit previously used to make brake pipes for F1 race cars, is establishing the mould for future Padel Hubs: high specification, indoors, cafe offering produce from a premium bakery, court-side gym, wellness suite (yoga, reformers, pilates etc), free wifi, hot work desks and a children’s zone.
Founder memberships were snapped up within days of being launched and the venue is well-placed to tap into established local padel communities at Stoke Park and the Fairmont Windsor – plus those further afield thanks to the newly opened Elizabeth Line which goes into Slough station (around 5 minutes away by car) and puts Paddington within a 15 minute train journey and Stratford under 50 minutes, according to Charles.
Each Padel Hub will have membership capped, offer free court time to members’ children and encourage schools to make use of the facilities. Charles intends to develop corporate memberships, with inter-company leagues and early morning sessions.
A founder member told The Bandeja: “It’s amazing to finally have a luxury indoor warehouse-style padel club close to London with a Swedish-style living room atmosphere. We can’t wait until it opens.”
Integral to the club’s development has been its work with Padel Mates, until now the go-to app for matching players with one another but without the facility to book courts. That’s all changed with the Swedish platform’s just-launched update which lets players match and book, making it a direct competitor to booking apps such as Matchi and Playtomic.
“The other platforms are very good but we found it difficult to integrate our membership approach with their systems,” said Charles. “We’ve been working with Padel Mates CEO Daniel (Dawood) and his team to develop an approach that fits perfectly with what we want to do. They’ve tailored Padel Mates to support our membership model and more. We will be the first club in the UK to roll out the new platform, which is really exciting.”
That ‘and more’ includes the ability to book, via the app, a shuttle service to run Padel Hub members to Slough train station or slightly further afield – a first in the UK. The app will also offer members a bar levy service, another first.
This service level is a sure sign that Charles knows his customers. He told The Bandeja: “We’ve designed the club from the ground up, both physically and metaphorically, with the intention of providing the services and atmosphere that our players want.”
Padel Hub’s tie-up with Mauri Andrini’s Hello Padel Academy is another indication that Charles and his team are going the extra mile to bring onboard partners that complement and support the brand while offering something different to members. He said: “Through Hello Padel we are going to be running an academy to train padel coaches, which has an obvious benefit to our members because they will be able to access phenomenal coaching themselves.” 🎾