Stars align for winners at Ola Padel tournament

Two former Corornation Street stars took to the courts for OLA Padel’s latest tournament over the weekend.

Richard Fleeshamn and Ryan Thomas (whose brother Scott is also an avid padel player) joined 18 other pairs – including pros from the previous weekend’s FIP Rise – for the event at Imber Court, west London.

Richard Fleeshman
Ryan Thomas

“Keeping fit physically and mentally & socialising with new people who all share a common passion – we walked away feeling uplifted!

Ryan Thomas

OLA Padel co-founder Georgie Barclay said: “The day had a bit of everything – sun, rain, Ryan, Richard, a couple of pros and social players aged from 22 to 60 years of various backgrounds and nationalities! A really ecletic group of competitors which is what we love to see at OLA.”

The tournament started with a group phase with tie-breaks to 10 and a mixing of partners. The top four players in each of the four groups went through to the quarter finals and paired with other qualifiers at random. Some very close fought matches saw eight pairs whittled down to the final two, Craig de Silva/Natasha Marks v Ed Tandy and Luke Warriner.

Georgie said the best of three final was ‘competitive yet social’ with a raucous crowd cheering from the side-lines. “The final score was a nail biting 10-7, 10-8 to Craig and Natasha from the Roehampton Club. Special congratulations to Natasha who is the first female UK OLA Tournament winner since we founded in June 2022,” added Georgie.

The event was sponsored by The Padel Company, which donated winners’ prizes of Varlion rackets and Nox padel bags. Runners-up received shirts from Rewound Clothing, a sustainable fashion brand.

Winners Craig de Silva and Natasha Marks with runners-up Ed Tandy and Luke Warriner


Winner Natasha had great things to say about the event: “I loved playing; fantastic organisation, a great level of padel with a social feel and I’m super proud to be their first female winner.” 

Craig (who has quite the padel CV having represented GB) echoed Natasha’s sentiments: “The perfect blend of great padel and a fun atmosphere. A great format enabling all abilities to take part and excellent prizes.”

The event continued in the bar at Imber Court. Added Georgie: “Everyone who played was buzzing about the event and about padel. We were privileged to host celebrity guests Richard and Ryan, who fitted in a treat and brought with them an infectious passion for padel.”

Ryan said: “Keeping fit physically and mentally and socialising with new groups of great people who all share a common passion for padel – we walked away feeling uplifted!” His comments were echoed by Richard: “I had such a wonderful time playing in OLA’s padel tournament. They organised a fantastic day bringing together lovely, like-minded people for a great event! We can’t wait for the next one,” 🎾

OLA tennis coach Ivor Mandic (left) with OLA founder/head coach Jack Carpenter. All images courtesy Alan Kugelmass (@ziggyq)