Faced with growing demand for padel in Limoges, the Red Star Padel Tennis Club is preparing to open a new complex with five modern tracks in the south of the city. Sophie Douchet, president of the club, shares the details of the project, its objectives and the challenges encountered.

5 new tracks padel covered

“As sports director of Red Star at Limoges, I participated in the installation of two playing fields padel in 2020, by sacrificing a tennis court to create two indoor tracks. We quickly noticed saturation in Limoges, despite the presence of another club, the 4Padel. Faced with this growing demand, we wanted to expand, but this was complicated because of our location in the city center. We then began to look for strategic sites in Limoges for new trails, still under the management of our association.

Red Star Complex Padel Tennis Club Limoges

We finally found suitable premises and, in the meantime, I became president of the club. We decided to embark on this ambitious project, to develop five new tracks of padel covered, equipped with the latest generation carpet and offering panoramic visibility. It was a real challenge for our association, which has 430 members, including around 180 players. padel.

Putting together the file took a year, after which the biggest challenge was to convince the banks to finance a €600 project, which is not easy for an association. Fortunately, we found the necessary funding, with the support of the Federation and the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, who contributed €000 for the Club house, the rest being financed by the club.

Although direct financial support from the municipality is limited, local elected officials have helped us a lot, particularly by facilitating town planning procedures. This allowed us to establish ourselves more easily.

There are competing projects, like the Big Padel which plans to open in the northern zone in 2025, but that does not worry us. Our new complex will open its doors in the south zone. We are planning a gala evening on June 22 for the inauguration, with a demonstration of padel by guest players, which should be a great start for our new project.

Red Star Complex Padel Tennis Club Limoges

Concerning saturation, it is true that the growing interest in padel could lead to rapid saturation. It is predicted that it could occur within the next three years. That said, I think we will respond effectively to demand with this new complex.”

A point of reference for the padel female

“For two years, we have established a school of padel for adults and we offer group lessons. We focused on the development and teaching of padel, while offering hourly rentals. For the moment, Red Star has two tracks, on which 51 tournaments are organized annually and lessons are given to around 80 people. The demand is so strong that we have had to refuse registrations, hence our decision to expand.

Red Star Complex Padel Tennis Club Limoges

Still regarding competitions, we applied to join the national calendar and we hope, initially, to host women's tournaments. We would like to make the club a point of reference for the padel feminine, which corresponds well to our dynamic since many women are part of our committee. Our club is family-friendly, and our goal is to pamper the female players even more, knowing that there is already plenty on offer for the men.”

Promote the padel for everyone

“We are also going to apply to organize men's tournaments, but it is true that the market is already saturated when it comes to men's competitions. We do not wish to compete with large sports complexes, but rather to promote a padel accessible to all, including wheelchair players, by adopting an advantageous pricing policy and cultivating a real club spirit. We still want to organize bigger tournaments: given that the club is not a private structure, we have no major financial pressure other than covering our operational costs.”

Dorian Massy

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