By RJ Mitchell
PADEL TECH ambassador Barry Coffey is gearing up for a new challenge as he gets ready to battle it out with padel influencer and YouTuber Ewan Ramsden at Padium in a padel challenge literally of the ages on Tuesday.
Despite being a still sprightly 63 years-old while his opponent is at 21, as Barry admits young enough to be his grandson our intrepid ambassador is determined to prove that age is no concern when the duo get it on at the UK’s ultimate bespoke padel destination in Canary Wharf.
‘The Battle of the Ages’ comes hot on the heels of Barry’s latest triumph on the International Seniors Padel Tour in Dubai, where the man known to all on the circuit as ‘adidaddy’ and partner Roque Roasio, claimed their third title of an outstanding season.
But now Barry is a man on a mission as he bids to prove that old(er) men can do competitive padel.
Over to you Barry: “Next Tuesday at 11am I will be in Padium and filming a video with the well-known UK YouTuber Ewan Ramsden of ‘Everything Padel’ fame and the plan is to show how a senior player goes about his padel.
“Initially I had challenged Ewan to a game, as he filmed these challenges against various UK ranked players and I jumped on this via social media and said: ‘How about playing a guy three times your age?’
“So Ewan is 21 and I am 63 and older than his father but he went for it! I am not sure what he will call it but we have the court booked for two hours.
“Can I beat a 21-year-old who spends his life playing and coaching padel on a one on one basis? I doubt it very much as he is a very accomplished player, that said I will just play my normal right side game, which is return, return, return and don’t try anything too fancy and hope that Ewan will maybe go for shots that aren’t on!
“But for me it is about promoting senior padel and hopefully getting people who see it saying: ‘That guy is 63 and older than my father and can still play and enjoy padel - so why can’t I?”
Barry, who has just been made an International Ambassador for AFP (All For Padel) the worldwide licensees for adidas padel, has revealed that there will be a mouthwatering give - away which will have padel aficionados salivating.
He shared: “We will be doing a give-away featuring a top of the range adidas Metalbone racket through AFP, which is brilliant as this is worth several hundred pounds and again many thanks to AFP for this.”
As he gets ready for a weekend of “rigorous” last minute training at his Monte Carlo base Barry admitted that the chance to play at the ‘Home of UK Padel,’ which was created after two years of hard graft and challenging engineering by Padel Tech turned into the UK’s premium padel facility after an almost £5million investment by Houman Ashrafzadeh and partner Martin Lorentzon, Barry admitted his competitive juices are in torrent.
He said: “Once I’d heard about Padium from Padel Tech and realised just what was in the pipeline I had to play there.
“Erica (MacLeod) at Padel Tech has very kindly helped to set that all up, so we couldn’t do it without Padel Tech and a huge thanks to them for that and Erica especially and I can’t wait to get on one of the superb eight AFP (All For Padel) V-Panoramic courts.
“That said I am also looking forward to meeting Jorge (Martinez) the head coach at Padium who I used to spar with on the British Padel Tour a while back.”
Barry was also keen to issue a shout out to his rival ahead of Tuesday’s tussle and he said: “A couple of years back Ewan kindly provided drinks bottles for all the competitors in my Six Nations Masters tournament and he personalised them, which was a lovely touch.
“Ewan does a very nice job with his videos through his YouTube channel: ‘Everything Padel’ and he also has an online shop with some coaching videos on top of this and they really are very good.
“So hopefully the video content from Tuesday will be good for everybody.”
Reflecting on his recent visit to AFP’s uber smart offices in Madrid and his latest padel accolade, Barry admitted he was humbled by the recognition: “I was invited out to AFP’s offices in Spain and that was really nice. Honestly I was a bit worried it may have been bad news but it was quite the opposite and they wanted to increase our collaboration and use the title International Ambassador for me in terms of padel!
“So AFP are the worldwide licensees for adidas padel and they said they were really impressed with what I was doing and now our arrangement is being formalised which is just really exciting.”
Barry will be going into Tuesday’s Battle of the Ages on the back of another confidence boosting victory on the International Seniors Padel Tour as he revealed: “Dubai was our third win on the ISPT this season but when I arrived I found they had amalgamated the over-55s, with the 50s and 45s and the tournament director looked at my face and asked me if that was a problem! He was such a nice guy and doing a difficult job so we just laughed it off.
“Would I have travelled to Dubai for an over 45 - probably not. But the best way to make a protest is probably to win it and my partner Roque (Roasio) and I managed to do that!
“This was our third win with a third placed finish in the fourth event in Spain when we lost to the eventual winners who were two retired pros from Argentina and that was 13-11 in the decider.
“But although that was a tough one to swallow, especially after we had a match point and didn’t take it, I probably played the best padel of my life in that match!”
All of which means a certain Mr Ramsden must be quaking in his Adizero Ubersonics!