James Rock (NH, 2006)
As a student at College, I fell in love with racket sports, particularly rackets. My passion for sport continued into my adult life, and I found myself working as the head professional at the Montreal Racket Club.
It was during my time in Montreal that I first discovered padel, a fast-paced and exciting sport that combined elements of tennis and squash. I was immediately hooked, and soon began playing regularly with my friend, sports enthusiast and fellow OC George Sandbach (NH, 2011).
George and I quickly realised that there was a gap in the market in the UK for high-quality padel clubs and we decided to take matters into our own hands. Two years ago, we founded Padel People, a business dedicated to bringing the excitement and fun of padel to players of all levels.
Our time at College taught us the importance of hard work and dedication, and we have applied those lessons to our new venture. We researched the best materials for constructing padel courts and worked tirelessly to ensure that our facilities are and will be of the highest quality.
We are also committed to promoting padel as a sport. Padel People will hold open days, charity events and tournaments to encourage more people to give it a try. It has been incredibly rewarding to see how much people enjoy playing, and how quickly the sport has been growing in popularity. Our first venue in Wimbledon, opened in July, with other sites in Hove and Oxford currently going through planning.
(Image left caption: James winning the British professional rackets singles in 2017)
Through Padel People, we have been able to combine our love of sport with our entrepreneurial spirit, and it has been a truly fulfilling experience. We’re proud to have created a business that provides a fun and exciting way for people to stay active and socialise with others who share our passion for racket sports.
Looking back on our time at College, we realise how fortunate we were to have had such a great coach in Mark Briers (College Cricket and Rackets Professional). He taught us not just about the sport, but about the importance of perseverance and teamwork. These lessons have served us well in our business and in life, and we’re grateful for the foundation that College provided.
(Image above caption: James and George on the padel court)
If you’re looking for a new way to stay active and have fun with friends, we encourage you to give padel a try. And if you’re ever in the area, stop by Padel People and see what we’re all about!