International Padel

”We expect that Japanese padel will grow tremendously in the upcoming years”


In 2013, the first court was built. Since then, padel has grown a lot in Japan. Padel Alto had a talk with Juli Sarkar, from  the Japanese Padel Association. 
— We expect that padel will grow tremendously in the upcoming years, she says. 

It's no news that padel is growing strong on several continents. Three years after the first padel court was built, the Japanese Padel Association was founded to promote the development of the sport throughout the country; in 2018, the Japanese women's national team participated in its first World Cup. And in 2021, the men's team had also challenged for the Asian qualifiers held in Dubai.

After the pandemic, many Japanese have found padel as their favorite sport.

— Padel in Japan has been showing explosive growth, especially since around 2020, when people started looking into new hobbies to solve the lack of exercise under the lockdown, Juli Sarkar says to Padel Alto.  

And continues: 

— We expect that padel will grow tremendously in the upcoming years and attract lots of attention, with famous people from different activities, also trying padel. With the increase in padel players and padel courts, the number of tournaments and competitions will also increase.

”Grown by 120 percent in one year.” 

In addition to the amateur growth, she also referred to the number of competition players who join each year:

— The number of players who registered until March 2021 was 120% compared to the previous year, which is expected to rise a lot in 2022. 

While most Japanese top players are playing in the national circuits, such as the Japan Padel Tour or the All Japan Padel Championship, some of them are beginning to test themselves in circuits such as WPT.

Regarding the option of Japanese players playing on the world tours, Sarkar commented:

— There have previously been a few players who have challenged in the World Padel Tour. Most recently, a player called Kazuki Tomita (runners-up in All Padel Championships 2021) has been gradually shifting his hub to Spain and competes in the World Padel Tour. A few other players plan to follow the same path, Juli Sarkar thinks. 

 ”The awareness of being leaders in Asia”

The Japanese Padel Association is working to work in accordance with international competitions, to send their national teams to help them develop their game and have a project dedicated to selecting and preparing coaches.

— We are still a growing sport association, constantly challenging ourselves and trying new initiatives, such as collaborating with Finacie (a new generation crowdfunding 2.0 platform using blockchain) or trying to organize new styles of competition. 

For example, Juli says that the first-ever university padel competition of the alumnus was held this year, and an event for padel influencers was held in 2021. 

Juli Sarkar also talks about the importance of being the leading nation in Asia. 

— Japan Padel Association has mainly three big visions; first, to promote the spread of padel and raise the level of Japanese padel, second to communicate and contribute to the international community with an awareness of being leaders in Asia. And third, to energize and bring smiles to Japanese faces using padel as a tool to foster a community, Juli Sarkar concludes. 

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