East Glos Club Chairman Andrea Butland has said she expects the county’s new state-of-the-art padel courts to open in mid-March.
Padel is a racket sport that merges both tennis and squash to create a fun and inclusive alternative to the popular sports.
There are currently no padel courts in Gloucestershire and when they open fully at the Cheltenham-based club, they will account for three of the 85 in the entire country.
The new facilities were supposed to welcome players at the start of February but due to a third lockdown and other factors out of their control, the club have had to push back the original date.
“Obviously, we’ve had lockdowns and rain of biblical proportions, but they are back at work,” stated Butland. “We are now expecting it to be finished mid-March.”
As well as another national lockdown hampering the progress of the build, the weather conditions have made for a near impossible task for the differing on-site workers.
Butland said: “Our groundsman who has been here for 30 years has never seen so much water so they were actually having to pump out the site every morning before they could then start doing some work.
“Plus, when it was very cold, I’ve learnt that you can’t pour concrete when it’s less than five degrees because it doesn’t set properly. So, the weather didn’t help them.”
Once the build is finally complete, Butland is hopeful that the club can welcome new padel players and insists that there will be an opening ceremony if restrictions allow.
“Once we are allowed to open outdoors and play doubles, we hope to have an opening event for padel,” she added. “We’d like to attract some local celebrities if we can.”
Once outdoor sports resume on 29 March, the courts will be accessible for new and existing members as well as the surrounding community.