By Angela Green:
Four Londoners from the hospitality sector, challenged a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title attempt for the Longest Marathon Playing Padel in a new padel court in the City of London’s Crescent, EC3 on 25th and 26th September.
In a remarkable example of resilience and endurance the players spent two gruelling days completing nearly 35 hours of continuous padel playing.
The players described as ‘the awesome foursome’ won the admiration of hundreds of spectators and supporters for their sporting prowess and incredible physical resilience.
Included in the inspiring group of individuals was Tony Matharu, owner and founder of the Blue Orchid Hospitality – a central London based collection of hotels, apartments, residences, restaurants, spas and gyms, Mary Doogan, a hospitality expert who has worked with Tony for many years and former Cluster General Manager and Diego Martin Acuña, Sales and Marketing Manager for British Airways City Flyer.
Tony Matharu, Chairman of Blue Orchid Hospitality, founding Director of Central London Alliance and also a player of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title attempt stated: “As a proud Londoner, a passionate sportsman and firm believer in the power of partnership working and of sport to do good, both individually and on communities, I did not need much persuasion to jump at the opportunity to create a padel court in the City in collaboration with multiple partners.
“The added incentive to place a global spotlight on the City of London and London more generally as the best place in which to live, work, invest, visit and study in also helped to determine my decision. Having invested hundreds of millions of pounds in London’s hospitality sector, creating many new businesses and employment opportunities and as a Director of a Central London BID, I understand London’s diverse needs and opportunities, the power of collective working and to assist those less fortunate than ourselves, all of which we were able to do. The unbelievable success of CLA’s padel initiative, supported by Global Hospitality Services, is to be applauded, and gives added impetus to London’s position as an innovative leading world city, all whilst giving back to others.”
The padel court, installed by Global Hospitality Services (GHS), was constructed to animate a relatively unknown space near Tower Hill, to provide an added incentive for workers to return to their workplaces and to encourage increased visitors to central London.
Speaking on behalf of Global Hospitality Services, Gergana Halavetcha, said: “Padel is the fastest growing sport in the world and by supporting the world record for the longest continuous game of padel, we, at Global Hospitality Services, have continued to support and encourage innovation and creativity.
“Our international hotel venues rely on us to support initiatives to drive footfall and visitors and to animate appropriate spaces. Padel is a spectacular addition to London’s offering and we are proud that, together with one of our valued hotel partners, Blue Orchid Hospitality, we have brought padel and its wellbeing and other benefits to the capital.”
The padel court has been an outstanding success witnessing the highest level of occupancy for all padel courts across the UK; fully booked throughout the summer including on weekends and Bank Holidays and achieving its ambitions of bringing new visitors to the City of London.
GHS partnered with the Central London Alliance, together with its partners – Blue Orchid Hospitality, Aldgate Connect BID and EC BID – to arrange free padel coaching sessions and court use for local schools, families, local residents and workers.
The CLA’s initiative, inspiration and creativity, combined with the collaborative endeavours of multiple partners, demonstrated all that’s best about London – its capacity for excellence, its resilience, its innovative thinking and its people, with each of the quartet of players originally from different parts of the world: Ireland, Sweden, Argentina and the United Kingdom.
The GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title attempt was a part of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, raising funds for National Numeracy, MQ Mental Health Research and The Duke of Edinburg’s Award and supported by Pro Padel UK, iGene Media and My Protein.