Padelday 2016 San Jose - Bringing A Community Together

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Monday 15 February 2016

Padelday 2016 San Jose - Bringing A Community Together

Before we visited Cabo de Gata last year we hadn't even heard of Padel Tennis, which is somewhat of a cross between squash and tennis. However, over the past few weeks we've discovered just how amazing a game it is for all ages and abilities and also for bringing people together, a fact exemplified by our experience yesterday at Padelday 2016!  Not only did we have an amazing time and fun playing, we have been touched by the generosity and kindness of the local British community here that has welcomed us and truly inspired by the act of using this sport to bring so many people together.

Since we arrived in San Jose we've felt very grateful to have been invited to take part in the twice weekly padel mornings organised by some very kind British winter residents here in San Jose purely for the love of the game, moving and being outside and also for the benefit of friends and the UK winter community here. Every Monday and Wednesday we'd arrive at the padel court to meet up with our playing partners for the time slot we'd been given, all pre-organised generously by this wonderful couple, and have a fun but also semi-competitive knock-about followed by a chat and time for sharing with others arriving or heading off. It is always such a fun and sociable time in our week.

We also felt very lucky, therefore, to have found ourselves in San Jose and playing padel in the run up to Padelday, a fun Padel tournament also organised by those same generous and kind people.  We felt especially lucky to have both found ourselves getting a spot to play as well......although not together of course!  Thank you to our respective playing partners for tolerating our inexperience which we tried to make up for with enthusiasm!

With more than a twenty people entered the organisers did such an amazing job of matching doubles partners up to make sure that the teams were well balanced with ages ranging from 30's into 70's, from extensive to non-existence racket sport experience.  The level of planning involved in mapping out the playing rota and timings, umpiring, providing equipment, making score boards etc..... and generally just making the entire day not only full of fun but run like clockwork as well was amazing. There was so much laughter and good spirit to be shared that we felt blessed to be part of the day - even though neither of us made it past the group stage!

But perhaps the most touching part for us about Padelday was that it was all organised purely for the benefit of bringing a community together.  The organisers themselves didn't play, giving their spot over to others, like us or visiting friends of other residents so that more people could take part and enjoy the experience.  This was the 3rd year they have organised Padelday, which didn't stop at the activities on court.  But also included a post tournament meal and brilliant evening entertainment too.  This kind and generous act inspired other people (players and non-playing supporters) to come down with home-made snacks and even a BBQ to cook breakfast on.

As we've written about elsewhere, bringing communities together and giving something back has become increasingly one of the more important parts of our adventures and watching the organisers working so hard to bring smiles to the faces of their friends and even short term visitors like us, was truly inspiring for us.  The atmosphere created was so full of joy and generosity.  It brought so many different and diverse people together, different ages, backgrounds, abilities and characters but all having fun in the moment together.   Although we're only temporary visitors to San Jose, we were so warmly welcomed from day one like old friends by this community of British winter residents.  We were originally not going to be staying in San Jose this long, but feel such gratitude to have had the opportunity to be here for Padelday and be inspired by this wonderful act of community.
Scroll down for some pictures.....

Start of the morning ..... looking at the draw and discussing a tactic (get ball over the net!) and feeling optimistic......

Morning play begins...... 5 group matches per couple at the Port court whilst at the same time another 6 teams play at the Park court....

Esther and playing partner Paul knocked out but still smiling and why not in such a beautiful location and a good atmosphere....... Dan and teammate Jacqui make the tie-break for a semi-final spot but it's not to be this time.......

Semi-Finals and Final bring both groups together for the rest of the afternoon......

After a brilliant final match it's time for prizes ...... as well as thank yous to the amazing people involved in the organisation......


  1. What a good idea to stay a bit longer! That's what I think is best to become part of and to give something back to the community: you need to stay a bit longer to be able to socialise and do some volunteer work or so. That's how I see us motorhoming in the future: visiting and sightseeing is part of it, but trying to volunteer in schools, librariries, hospitals etc. is part of it too. What a brilliant idea of that couple to organise a Padelday!

  2. Hi Chris, It's truly been wonderful. We have been so so inspired by the amazing couple who organised the whole event and continue to organise the weekly sessions. We have been so touched by how welcome we have been made from the start by everyone here, their kindness and the strong sense of community. And it's not just the British winter residents, the local community here is also so welcoming. I've just returned from trying a Zumba class organised in the San Jose village hall and although most of the ladies are Spanish you can communicate a lot with smiles and laughter.

    It's wonderful to hear your thoughts about your future motorhoming. We feel so grateful for all our different experiences on our adventure this year - we have enjoyed the times on the road that we have been touring and the interactions with other motorhomers we have met along the way but we have also very much enjoyed the times we have found ourselves staying longer in one place. We were made so welcome during our time the organic farm near Briancon in Summer and now we feel so much gratitude to have found ourselves in San Jose this winter.


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