Pat Rafter joins in on the padel craze sweeping Docklands
Docklands welcomed former Australian tennis champion Pat Rafter in January, who came to check out what all the fuss with our padel tennis courts is about.
Rafter, a two-time US Open winner and two-time Wimbledon finalist, had a hit on the Game4Padel courts underneath Shed 21 at Yarra’s Edge on January 12 as part of a padel tournament where local and international players competed for a $10,000 prize.
He was welcomed on the day by Game4Padel’s operations director Rob Daley and City of Melbourne Cr Jamal Hakim, with the council supporting the establishment of the padel facilities on Lorimer St along with Development Victoria.
As one of only two dedicated padel locations in Melbourne, Docklands now has five courts and the popularity of the facilities continues to grow.
“It’s fantastic to see a new sport grow, particularly from our Docklands community set against the backdrop of our beautiful city,” Cr Hakim said.
“I joined community members and international champions to witness the first padel tournament in Australia, the Padel Open, and was impressed by the welcoming atmosphere and the comradery the game has built.”
“Padel is a new racket sport in Australia, and it’s growing rapidly from their home base in Docklands, something that I am proud to support. It’s also great to see increased take-up from women and girls, with a women’s tournament attracting athletes from home and abroad. Padel is truly a game for everyone, no matter their skill with a racket.”
“I look forward to joining the team at Game4Padel for a game of padel in Docklands this summer and urge my neighbours across our city to come down and give it a try.” •