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Balwin adds padel courts to Mall of Africa offering

22nd April 2024

By: Schalk Burger

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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JSE-listed real estate investment trusts Balwin and Attacq will open six new rooftop padel courts at the Mall of Africa in Waterfall City as demand for the lifestyle sport gains momentum.

Four of the courts will be covered and the venue will also host the first Balwin Padel Club, with amenities such as locker and shower facilities for players.

The six padel courts will be open for play from September 1, when a tournament with prize money of R200 000 will be hosted. 

A soft opening is planned for mid-July to end of August, Balwin said in a statement.

Balwin Padel currently has five courts in Johannesburg and the Western Cape. It will add 21 new courts, including the six from Mall of Africa, by early 2025.

“Padel is a low-impact sport that enables people to socialise and maintain healthy lifestyles,” says Balwin CEO Steve Brookes.

Padel is similar to tennis in terms of rules, but is typically played in doubles and the ball can be bounced off the court walls, like squash.

Balwin aims to develop standalone padel courts in its lifestyle centres adjacent to its new residential developments to enable residents and communities to connect and socialise.

Funding for the development of the six world-class padel courts at Attacq’s Mall of Africa is provided by a consortium of private investors, the company adds.

“This is the first time that we have expanded the Balwin Padel brand outside of our Lifestyle Centres and we are excited to capture some of Mall of Africa’s millions of loyal shoppers each month, while adding to the huge shopping and entertainment diversity the mall already offers,” says Brookes.

Balwin Padel launched in 2023 and seeks to promote a healthier lifestyle among the company's clients, staff and all South Africans.

“Balwin Padel is a great addition to our leisure and entertainment offering at Mall of Africa,” says Attacq Mall of Africa GM Johann Fourie.

“Waterfall City currently has 35 km of hiking and biking trails, the Waterfall City Athletics Club, the Discovery Soccer Park and the recently launched Bounce indoor trampoline park aimed at the younger demographic. Attacq is committed to healthy living and to growing our non-gross lettable area income,” he says.

Meanwhile, padel was introduced to South Africa in late 2020, and has more than 100 000 players nationwide through the Playtomic platform. South Africa currently has 400 courts, with the potential to grow to about 2 500 courts, says Balwin padel chief Sebastian Brokmann.

To help grow the sport in South Africa, Balwin Padel has partnered with renowned padel player and a winner of two world championship titles Willy Lahoz. He will be in South Africa for three years and will host several coaching clinics for corporates, individuals and groups countrywide.

A large emphasis of Lahoz’s tenure in South Africa will be on identifying and developing underprivileged players with talent, the company says.

“Padel is growing rapidly, and we are experiencing demand from individuals and groups wanting to play at our courts. We are excited about the addition of new courts to accommodate the growing number of players, as well as the formation of the Balwin Padel Club that will further help us support our members.

“We work closely with some of the sport’s top names in South Africa and who are Balwin Padel ambassadors, including Jason Blakey-Milner and Karyn Hambridge, to promote accessibility to and interest in the sport,” says Brokmann.

Further, Balwin’s Thaba Eco Lifestyle Estate in Johannesburg South currently has two padel courts, and will have four new courts by the end of April.

The estate's residential development's state-of-the-art lifestyle facilities are also available to the public on a membership basis, which is a model that Balwin Padel is adopting to ensure more people have access to the lifestyle sport.

New padel courts will also be opened at Balwin’s residential estates Munyaka, in Waterfall City, Izinga Smart City, in Durban, and Mooikloof, in Pretoria, he notes.

Balwin Padel is planning events for friends and groups across various age categories and levels to connect and network, says Brokmann.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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