An elite experience for all as padel wins at the Virgin Active Centre

Tuma Bijou shows off his incredible athleticism during the round-robin stages of the Padel4Good Elite Men's event this weekend. Photo: FrankysFunkyFotos

Tuma Bijou shows off his incredible athleticism during the round-robin stages of the Padel4Good Elite Men's event this weekend. Photo: FrankysFunkyFotos

Published Jun 16, 2024


Padel4Good’s first Elite event this weekend was the perfect advertisement for the rapid growth and potential this brand and sport has in South Africa.

On Friday night, at the Virgin Active Padel Centre in Paarden Eiland, 28 high-level Padel athletes from across the Western Cape signed up to compete under the Padel4Good for honours and a good cause.

Padel sport is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, with more and more Cape Town-based enthusiasts engaging in the fast-paced game combining tennis, squash, and racquetball.

Within this sport, Padel4Good - a sporting charity, was founded, which uses the sport to empower and uplift women and children as all proceeds and sponsorships from every event go to various homes or charities across the country.

Since its inception last year, the NPO has created a platform for upcoming and regular Padelists to improve their game by competing while giving back to the less fortunate or at risk.

Last month, Padel4Good hosted its first mixed event as PlayTomic- registered men and women were allowed to enter the groundbreaking competition.

On Friday night, the big step-up in intensity and skill was evident as only players with 2.5 to 5-rating on the PlayTomic App were allowed to enter.

It was something to behold, and one can forgive for thinking that an extended leg of Roland Garros moved to Cape Town.

You could sense the intensity with every single shot as an array of strokes from the Padel textbook was shown off under the bright lights of the Arena while the fans engaged with their oohs and ahs, celebrating the athleticism and skill of the competitors.

Mixed tournament winner Luke Potter and partner Josh van Rensburg made history, becoming the first Padel4Good Elite Men’s champions after a high-octane final against worthy competitors Chris Da Cruz and Charl Vos in their “first to five” match.

The game delivered everything a Padel fan could ask for as forehands, backhands, off-the-wall strokes, lobs, la chiquitas, back glass, and volleys were prevalent.

The grizzled Potter’s experience seemed to steady the ship for his team in the first part of the game before the young guns of Da Cruz and Vos seemed to find their feet and put on the pressure with quality strokes and speed across the court.

However, Potter’s experience, timing, and awareness, combined with Van Rensburg’s accuracy, speed, accuracy and agility, and pin-point shot selection, earned them the title and bragging rights on the night.

“Thank you to Padel4Good for an incredible show once again. What a show, and one can honestly not be playing for a better cause. Thank you, Padel4Good.” said Potter.

“Well done to our opponents, everybody, keep an eye out for Charl (Vos) he is only 19 years old, and he has an incredible career ahead of him. My man Chris (Da Cruz), what a legend you are, but unfortunately, I had a legend on my team today in Josh (Van Rensburg). I actually had to just stand here and look pretty while Josh did all the work,” said Potter as the crowd chuckled along.

“In the end, Padel wins, thank you again, Padel4Good. Incredible show,” concluded Potter.

“I was called last minute to stand in for Luke’s original partner, but when I found out what Padel4Good is all about, I could not resist. This is a great show and brand for the sport, and I will definitely be back,” added Van Rensburg.

This past weekend’s show was in aid of a very brave 6-year-old by the name of Stehan, fighting to overcome his battle with Cancer. Along with the Cupcakes for Hope organization, Stehan’s family is raising R600 000 for his treatment. If you would like to assist Stehan, reach out to Cupcakes for Hope or contact Padel4Good on Instagram.


IOL Sport

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cape town