IT is Scotland’s premier competitive padel facility and it was Padel Tech’s first ever court instalment and now the man who founded West of Scotland Padel has delivered a 5 star endorsement of our services.
Eight years ago David McCulloch took the brave decision to create a three court padel club in North Ayrshire at a time when for most people in the UK padel was something that involved water.
As with many people David was first smitten by the joys of our sport when he took it up on holiday in Spain but unlike almost everyone else he decided to source a warehouse premises on a lease which he could convert into Scotland’s first three-court indoor padel club.
It was then that Padel Tech came on board and the rest as someone once said is history.
Without further ado over to you David: “So we were Padel Tech’s first ever customer and Paul Ross (Padel Tech MD) helped me create what is now known as the West of Scotland Padel Club.
“Right from the start Paul was very honest and easy to deal with and they did a very good job of the courts and really Padel Tech as a company were very professional from start to finish.
“For example they picked up on surface blemishes and levelled them out immediately while the construction went exactly according to plan and really the job was faultless.
“I would have to say that overall from the construction to maintaining an ongoing relationship with WOSP, Padel Tech has been 5 star.
“So I would certainly recommend Padel Tech to any club considering introducing padel courts in the UK, there is no doubt about that.”
Eight years is a long time in the sports construction industry, yet although the honeymoon period is well and truly over, no love in the best sense, has literally been lost in terms of Padel Tech’s enduring relationship with WOSP and its founder.
Reflecting on this David shared: “For one there has been virtually no maintenance requirement to date which is testimony to the job Paul and Padel Tech have done.
“Paul constructed the courts very well and we’ve never had so much as a broken pane of glass, not even a net issue – nothing at all.
“Last year I was delighted to meet up with Paul and then pay a visit to Padel Tech’s premises and I heard all about the progress the company has made and that has been fantastic.”
Yet David’s own attention to detail and due diligence made this pioneering padel court installation the burgeoning success it has undoubtedly become.
So it would be remiss not to get a couple of tips from the doyen of padel in Scotland, who is also a former GB No.1 over-50s doubles star alongside sidekick John Byrne.
Taking this into consideration David advised: “Firstly I had been very specific in acquiring a facility that was capable of providing the dimensions needed for three courts and that was also some help. So my advice is that you must do your homework.
“It’s then vital to take time to get the dimensions right in terms of height and width and that can be a challenge.
“It is also pretty cost prohibitive and that is something else that must be taken into consideration.
“Originally only myself and two or three friends from North Ayrshire had played or heard of padel so it was quite a commercial risk and that was the reason I only leased over two years and that is something I’d also advise.”
Yet as David revealed his belief that padel would take off, even in a provincial area like North Ayrshire, served him well, while the story of WOSP’s creation to its current status as a self-sustaining 100-member club offers encouragement to all who may fancy following in his footsteps.
As he explained: “I knew there was an element of risk as the game was unknown but I believed in the sport and its massive growth potential.
“So I didn’t really look at it commercially and I thought if it proves unsustainable commercially then I will have to give up the lease after two years and I can then take the courts down, transport them to Spain and sell them.
“But I built up a nucleus of players in Ayrshire and we had enough people to venture into making it a non-profit club.
“Then one of the members, Blair Pettigrew, was familiar with the process of how to set up and establish a charity registered sports club and that is what we did.
“At the beginning we had zero and now we have 100 plus. Also the utilisation of the courts is good with peak times being 6pm to 10pm and during the day the availability is very good which is a positive.
“I then donated the courts to the club and now as a charity registered organisation we don’t have to pay business rates and we didn’t need to register for VAT as we aren’t a VAT registered business so the members' subscriptions don’t have VAT added to them.
“So I subsidised the club for around 18 months and with the help of grants we struggled through until we became completely sustainable.
“The target was to get 80 members to pay £40 a month and that is sufficient to cover the rent, electricity, and general expenditure and that has been achieved.”
Having now stood down from his position as president, David who has been awarded an honorary membership by the WOSP committee, has now created a new padel venture in Spain.
Casa Del Padel (Home of Padel) launched last October and David is enthused by his new challenge: “Last October me and a padel coach from Spain and Colin Wright, who is a Scottish coach, went into partnership and we rented a commercial premises with seven courts on a 15 year lease at Torre- Pacheco in Murcia.
“We have World Padel Tour courts and these are proving very attractive and I’ve built up a whole list of contacts, introduced through mutual friends, that takes in UK, Ireland, Belgium and they are now coming from all over Europe.”
Plainly a case of have padel will travel!