Boden Padel has soon been up and running for a year – and what a first year it was! It quickly became clear that one hall was not enough and a second one is needed and now in April a coaching duo will move here from Spain.
It was during a holiday trip to Greece in the summer of 2019 that the idea emerged. Mats Wikman met a man who sold padel courts and fell for the concept – of course we would have a padel hall in Boden as well, even though Mats had never actually tried to play himself.
Together with the other co-owners David Thomelius, Björn Enberg, Patrik Falk and Janne Samuelsson, the project was started and Boden Padel was ready next to Boden Arena on the first of May 2020.
– It was full speed from the beginning with bookings a week ahead. We quickly made the decision to build another hall so that you can book spontaneous appointments, says Mats Wikman, hall manager.
In addition, there was the goal to have youth activities that in the current situation there was no room for. On December 18, the extension opened and now there are eight double courses and two single courses.
In March, a new sports association, Bodens Padelklubb, started training for 80 young people between the ages of nine and 17.
– It is children and young people we should invest in. The goal is to get some really good players from Boden, says Mats.
Interest in the sport is growing rapidly throughout the country and new players are flocking to Boden Padel every week. About 700 people have taken the introductory course.
– It is easy to learn and everyone can play, our oldest player is 80 and our youngest 3-4 years. For many, it is also a social thing when you meet and play, says Mats.
One who is in love with the new trend sport is Emmy Nordmark. She had tested a couple of times abroad without knowing the rules so she was excited on playing here in Boden.
– It was fun that something new came to Boden. Cheers to the entrepreneurs who want to invest in our city!
It was not long after giving birth that I accompanied my partner Mattias to the padel hall, learned the rules and got caught up in the padel pandemic. I need the competition when I’m not playing handball. Even though Mattias and I play with friends, I want to win. Mattias does not take our mix matches so seriously, so there can be hot discussions in the car on the way home, says Emmy and laughs.
Starting a brand new business in the middle of a pandemic can seem like a gamble, when many other sport halls and gyms are closed. But according to the hall manager, it has gone well to adapt the hall to current restrictions.
– We now have 15 minutes between the start times, the changing rooms are closed, we have removed furniture, no audience is allowed, there are different entrances and exits to the courses and the league game is paused. When it is full, there are a maximum of 34 players on 2700 square meters, so there is plenty of space, says Mats.
Now the next step in the development is taken. In April, coaches Marco Musso and Yolanda Mortensen move from Málaga to Boden to work as padel coaches. They were visiting for a week in March to test the neighborhood and loved it. They did a trial job in the padel hall, ate souvas for lunch outdoors and tried skiing in Storklinten.
– This is the first time I have experienced snow and I like it very much, says Marco.
– It really is a magical place and we have never seen anything like it before. Everything, the landscape, the snow, all the trees, the river that is now ice, it’s really worth a visit, says Yolanda.
With this, it is hoped to raise the level of Boden’s padel players further. For the co-owners, it was important to bring in a female coach as half of all players here are women.
For the future, there are plenty of plans and ideas. Mats believes that there is a basis for even more courses in Boden, but when and where remains to be seen. Designing of a restaurant adjacent to the padel hall is currently underway and the hope is to have the extension ready by the summer. #