Usain’s MPC padel training bolthole revealed

Footballers love padel. F1 drivers love padel. And now, thanks to Manchester Padel Club, we can reveal that sporting royalty Usain Bolt is also a huge fan.

The retired Jamaican athlete, widely considered the greatest sprinter of all time with world records in the 100m, 200m and 4×100m relay and a kitbag full of Olympic golds, has been honing his padel skills during visits to Manchester (Q: is it an urban myth that he wants to play for Man Utd?).

His club of choice has been Manchester Padel Club, until now a somewhat under-the-rader one-court facility that even co-founder David Thomas described as ‘one of Manchester’s best kept sporting secrets’. It’s not quite hidden away (in Heald Green) but has definitely kept a low profile.

But that is about to change with the opening of three new courts at MPC, including a state-of-the-art tech-enabled covered court plus fitness area and social hub. The new covered court marks a significant milestone both for the pay-to-play club and the area, being the first in Manchester. And its in-built technology will allow players to watch their game back and improve their skills.

Usain Bolt and friends with Manchester Padel Club co-founder David Thomas (right).
Manchester Padel Club coaching team Leo Padovani, Rachel Thomas and David Thomas.

Coaching strength

Led by a professional team with decades of experience in international padel, the club’s coaching has become sought after in the region – and further afield as Usain proves. Since opening in July 2023, it has welcomed athletes including David De Gea and Michail Antonio along with padel players of all levels – from beginners to the Cheshire county team.

This comes as the club further establishes its place as a padel centre of excellence by forging a series of UK-wide and international partnerships, as well as hosting prestigious tournaments, including the Adidas 2024 HOP tour on May 18/19th.

Coach Rachel Thomas puts school children through their paces.

Leo Padovani, Director of Padel, boasts an impressive career history as a former world top 10 player and coach to many of the world’s leading players, including 14 times former world number one Juan Martin Diaz, who recently featured in the Hexagon Cup, the first padel tournament televised live on UK TV (ITVX).

He said: “We’re establishing a world-class padel academy in Greater Manchester. Having played alongside and coached some of the world’s best players, I’m confident that, with the benefits of our unique training facilities and our team’s experience in padel, we can introduce a whole new level of padel sporting excellence to the region.”

David Thomas, who also coaches, added: “Our club has been one of Manchester’s best kept sporting secrets, which is why we’re excited to finally unveil it. From football to cycling, Manchester has an illustrious history of sporting excellence. Our goal is to extend this tradition to padel, making our club, and the region, the ultimate destination for players of all levels to learn, improve their game and most importantly have fun.”

Those interested in tournament entry, representing Manchester Padel Club’s LTA National League teams, coaching, schools programmes or club membership can do so here. 🎾.