Denmark has known for two years a spectacular acceleration in the development of padel on its territory. A sport now accessible everywhere, in particular thanks to the work of its federation. We met Ole egholm, its president.
The serious and passionate work of a federation
La danish Padel Federation (DPF) was founded in 2009, but it was in 2017, during restructuring that the entity took on a real scale. It is then recognized as international padel federation by the FIP.
A collective of enthusiasts, led by Ole egholm, which operates as an independent association, with its own finances. All the activities carried out by the association are carried out by volunteer enthusiasts: “In sport, it is the heart that is at the origin of creation”.
The federation has a dozen partners, including the equipment supplier Head, and Unisport.
A federal imbroglio
"The Danish tennis federation tried to suppress our federation. She wanted to adopt the padel as a subsidiary of tennis. We asked our community of padel players: “Do you want to put the future of padel in the hands of tennis?” All the players, even those who also played tennis said no. We don't want to be a tennis affiliate. We are an independent sport.
At the start of 2020, during the general assembly, we therefore decided to continue with the padel federation."
Ole Egholm fought for allow the padel to remain independent. Even if the economic capacity is lower, the sport can continue to develop in a natural way without being hampered by the interests of tennis.
“From there it's a bit the start of a war. The tennis federation still created its padel branch, even without us. They have government support. We therefore have a competitive situation with two padel federations in Denmark.. "
“We are negotiating with the government entity that distributes the money spent on sport. We are the ones who organize all the tournaments. We are the ones who have the player network. The tennis federation has employed some of the best padel players, but even they don't think tennis needs to develop padel. I also see that the creativity of the products and the different tournaments and structures comes from the padel players, not from the tennis people. ”
Ole Egholm could teach us the independence of padel. In Denmark, a federation defends the interests and ALL the interests of our sport. They were able to cope with the arrival of the tennis federation, and all the divergent interests of padel that result from it.
Spreading the notoriety of padel, a priority
La Danish Padel Federation (DNF) absolutely wants to make our sport known in its territory. She “Helps journalists quickly, fairly and efficiently".
More and more land
The figures in Denmark are spectacular, the development is exponential. In just two years, the number of padel courts has been multiplied by 6 ! (see graph below)
“This competition from the federations is ultimately not so bad, because it allows the padel courts to appear in Denmark.” Ole egholm
It is considered that in Denmark, two thirds of the courts are private structures, and the other third are public courts located in tennis, badminton, football or golf clubs.
A sport now accessible
The increase in padel courts in Denmark has been done jointly across the country.
As shown on the map opposite, Danish people have access to paddle tennis facilities in all parts of this small country.
The countries of northern Europe are gradually starting to introduce padel throughout their territory. We know the situation of padel in Sweden (with the impetus of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in particular), or even that in the Netherlands, but the situation in Denmark is unprecedented in terms of its speed of development.
Big ambitions for a small country
“We're not going to stop there! We hope to be 350-400 short (x2) before the end of 2021. There are so many creations right now. Our aim is to raise padel to the top 20 sports in Denmark in 2025, but I think we will achieve this before ”
Ole Egholm concludes this discussion hopeful. Through the initiative and the passionate work of the Danish padel federation, the Scandinavian country will undoubtedly become a great padel nation.
From his names, we can guess his Spanish and Italian origins. Lorenzo is a multilingual passionate about sports: journalism by vocation and events by adoration are his two legs. Its ambition is to cover the biggest sporting events (Olympic Games and Worlds). He is interested in the situation of padel in France, and offers prospects for optimal development.