In today's article we will focus on the player Andréas Johansson, who we interviewed to let us know in what situation is the paddle in Sweden:
paddle is getting more followers every day. Not only in Spain and Argentina. It is increasingly common to discover new padel courts in foreign cities, which show us the great expansion that is taking the sport
In today's article we will focus on the player Andreas Johansson, who will tell us in which situation is paddle in Sweden:
- Tell us a bit about yourself / Tell us about you
My name is Andréas Johansson, I am 32 years old and live very south of Sweden (near Helsingborg). I have a long experience in sport having competed during my entire life (member of the junior national team of table tennis, black belt in jiu-jitsu). Also, I have always played racquet sports a lot.
My name is Andréas Johansson, I'm 32 years old and live in the very south of Sweden (close to Helsingborg). I have a long background in sports and been active and competing my entire life (junior national team in table tennis, black belt in jiu-jitsu). I have always playing lot of racket sports.
- When did you start playing paddle tennis? / When did you start playing paddle?
The first time I played padel was almost two years ago. For the last year and a half I have been playing tournaments and focusing on improving and learning to play and not just have fun. This summer I spent two months in Marbella (Málaga) for doing something else, living in the area and improving my game by training with Gabo Loredo.
Today I play in the Helsingborg Racquet Club which is very close to where I live. The club is very active and contributes a lot to the development of paddle tennis in Sweden. 3 members of the national team are club members (Husein Mehmedovic, Roger Fridolf and Tobias Blixt). We have many young players, 5 coaches working part time giving clinics and groups from other parts of Sweden who come and enjoy weekend paddle tennis. We also organize 3 tournaments a year that are very popular. The Helsingborg Racquet Club will soon take active 5 years.
I tried padel for the first time almost two years ago and for the last 1,5 year I have been playing tournaments and been more focus on to improve and learn the sport and not just social playing. I spent 2 months in Marbella / Malaga this summer to do something else, live in the area and improve my game training for Gabo Loredo.
Today I'm playing padel in Helsingborg Racketklubb which is a club close to where I live. The club is very active and contributes to the development of padel in Sweden. 3 of the national team players are members thereHusein Mehmedovic, Roger Fridolf and Tobias Blixt), lots of juniors, 5 coaches working part time giving clinics and also groups from other parts of Sweden go there and have "padel weekends". We also organize 3 bigger tournaments a year that are very popular. Helsingborg Racketklubb has been active for 5 years.
- What are the main differences between playing paddle in Sweden and in Spain? / What are the differences between playing padel in Sweden and Spain?
Many players come to play tennis or badminton, so the way of playing is very reminiscent of tennis. People tend to forget about walls and do not like them. But more and more players are playing in a more solid way and many travel to Spain or even bring coaches (like Nito Brea for example) to clubs with the idea of understanding the sport. It is a beautiful and beautiful sport!
Another difference is the social part. In Spain it is a very social sport - although you play during 2 hours you spend 3 hours or 3 hours and a half in the club hanging out with friends. In Sweden everyone is so stressed with tight schedules and you leave the 5 club minutes after you finish. Except for some exceptions, there are usually no facilities to enjoy with friends after playing (no bars or restaurants).
Last but not least, the 80% of those who play padel are men. Very rarely vs. mixed matches in the club or in a tournament as you see it in Spain.
Very many are coming from tennis or badminton so the way of playing reminds a lot about tennis, people tend to forget the walls and do not like them. But more and more players playing more solid padel, more and more people go on trips to Spain and we bring over coaches (Nito Brea for example) to the clubs in order to understand the sport. It's a lovely and beautiful game!
Another difference is the social parts, in Spain it's a very social sport - even if you just play for 2 hours, you spend at least 3-3,5 hours at the socializing club and having fun with your friends. In Sweden everyone is stressed with tight schedules and you leave 5 minutes after you finished. With one or two exceptions, there is no area in the facilities for socializing, no bars, no restaurants etc.
Last but not least, so far - it 's close to 80% men playing. It's very seldom you see mix matches at the club or in a tournament like you do in Spain.
- How many padel courts are there in Sweden? / How many padel courts are there in Sweden?
Two years ago there were some 40 tracks and now, in 2015, it is taking off - there are already around 90 tracks and many more are on the way. The most important thing is that it is starting to grow in our capital, Stockholm. The first track was built in Bastad (the town where the ATP tennis tournament is held) at 2009.
Two years ago we had around 40 courts and now 2015 it really takes off - we have around 90 courts now and a lot more is in the pipeline. Most important is that it is starting to grow in our capital city Stockholm. First court was built in Båstad (the village where ATP tennis tournament is held) in 2009.
- How many people can play padel in Sweden at this time? / How many people could play padel in Sweden at this moment?
It is difficult to answer how many people play padel in Sweden. There are 150 federated players. But the number of amateur players, playing on a regular basis may be some 2.000 in Sweden. In my club we have 400 registered accounts but how many of them play regularly is difficult to know.
Hard to say how many padel players we have. We have 150 players who have player license through the federation. But the number of social players, playing on regular basis is maybe around 2000 in Sweden. I know for example at my home club we have 400 unique accounts registered but how many of them playing on a regular basis is hard to tell.
- How many padel tournaments do you usually have in Sweden? / How often do you play a tournament there?
We have around 6-7 tournaments per year for a level of 1ª or 2ª category organized by the federation (in which you earn points for the ranking). If I compare it to the level of Marbella / Malaga the best paddle player in Sweden is a low 1 in Andalucia, on average we can say that the 1 category in Sweden is an 2 category medium-low in Andalucia. 2ª in Sweden can be equivalent to an 3ª category in Andalucia.
We have around 6-7 tournaments a year that is for 1 and 2 organized through the federation (you earn ranking points). if I compare to the level in Marbella / Malaga - the top in Sweden category 1 is very low category 1 in Andalusia, as an average you can say that category 1 in Sweden is medium - high category 2 in Andalusia. Category 2 in Sweden equals to medium Category 3 in Andalusia).
- Do you think paddleball can expand rapidly in your country and surroundings? / Do you think padel could spread quickly in your country and surroundings?
As I mentioned before, paddle tennis is growing very fast in Sweden. We have the great challenge of coordinating all the clubs and the federation has the great task of focusing on how we can grow the padel. The paddle as a social game will grow by its pre-weight weight since the tracks are showing everywhere. In 10 years I firmly believe that the paddle will not only be as big as any other racquet sport in Sweden, but the biggest in terms of number of players - being very aware of our great traditions in tennis.
In other Nordic countries, as in Denmark, there are some tracks with great use although they are mainly outdoor, being able to play only 3 months or 3 months and a half a year.
As I mentioned before - padel is growing like crazy in Sweden, we have a big challenge to co-ordinate all the clubs and the federation has a big task to focus on how can we grow the sport of paddle. Padel as a social game will be grow by it's own cause the courts are popping up everywhere. In 10 years, I definitely believe that padel is as big as the other racket sports in Sweden, if not the biggest one in number of players - well aware of our great traditions in tennis.
In the other Nordic countries, there are some courts in Denmark with high utilization but its mainly outdoor courts. And you can only play 3-3,5 months a year on outdoor courts in the Nordics.
- Are the brands supporting padel in Sweden? Are brands supporting this sport in Sweden?
We have some brands that are very active and that have realized the great potential in Sweden. Drop Shot y Bullpadel they are sponsoring some players and you can buy things from Bullpadel in almost any club. Other brands that you can find are those that have tennis equipment (Babolat, Wilson, Head, etc.). Many of the brands in Spain and Argentina do not have the organization or logistics to be able to fulfill the requirements of an international distribution. We have seen many efforts to import a new brand of padel to Sweden but that often ends with a single order and nothing more. Normally you can find sports equipment at a much lower price online but here Drop Shot and Bullpadel have found a model where clubs can compete with online offers and also earn money.
We have some brands that are very active and that they have realized the great potential in Sweden. Drop Shot and Bullpadel are sponsoring some players and you can buy Bullpadel almost at every club. Other brands that you can find are the brands that also have tennis equipment (Babolat, Wilson, Head etc.). Many of the brands in Spain and Argentina do not have the organization, nor the logistics set ups, in place to be able to fulfil the requirements of an international distribution with support in claims etc. We have seen many efforts to import to brand new padel to Sweden but it has very often ended with just one order and then nothing more. Normally you can find the equipment to a lot lower prize but here Drop Shot and Bullpadel have found a model where the clubs actually compete with the online offer and also make some money.
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