Virgin Active to open Padel Clubs in South Africa

A person playing padel
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Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
4 October 2022

Virgin Active has teamed up with The Racket and Ball Club to open the first Virgin Active Padel Clubs in South Africa.

Padel is the newest and fastest growing sport globally. It’s captured the attention of people across the world as an easy to try, easy to play and easy to enjoy activity. And now it has more than 25 million players in over 90 countries, and it’s growing in popularity with South Africans.

Virgin Active Padel Club logo
Virgin Active Padel Club

“Not only is Padel now the talk of the sports world and being embraced by people of all ages, and activity levels, it is an easy, simple, and fun sport that anyone can enjoy – a testament to its meteoric rise in popularity,” said Dean Kowarski, Virgin Active Group CEO. “Our ethos that wellness and living an active lifestyle is something that any person can embrace, is why this partnership with The Racket and Ball Club just makes sense.”

Padel is played in pairs, promoting social interaction, a buddy-like accountability, and creating a more entrenched sense of being part of a community. And it’s super easy to learn. 

“Our business strategy remains one underpinned by a commitment to offering more than functional fitness clubs, moving toward an holistic wellness offering that offers something for absolutely anyone,” added Kowarski. “This means we will always remain invested in providing unique experiences for our members, with the latest bringing this pace-setting sport and our established active communities together.”

Two people playing padel
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Padel courts are being built at existing Virgin Active clubs and also some new locations. These will be operated and managed by the Racket and Ball Club. Arenas, made up of four Padel courts, will be located at Bree Street in Cape Town and Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, with many more to come over the next year.

Justin Divaris, co-founder of The Racket and Ball Club, said: “Our partnership with Virgin Active will enable us to offer the best Padel experience nationwide to our existing customers, while enticing the extensive Virgin Active member base to try something new in-club or at a standalone venue.”

Each club will have Panoramic Padel Courts, World Padel Tour quality turf, top class coaches as well as national Padel events and social events. Players will also be able to buy all the latest Padel gear at the on-site pro shops.

Visit Virgin Active to find out more.