Adapted Padel wants to be a reference modality in the Algarve

After another meeting, the next objective «is to implement Adapted Padel in the Algarve»

The morning of December 19th was different for two dozen children, young people and adults from the Algarve Trisomy 21 Carriers Association (Apatris), Associação Existir e Acaso, who went to the Eduardo Beldade Academy, in Faro, for the second Adapted Padel meeting in the region. 

«The first date, where we had 15 kids from Apatris 21 and the CHUA Pediatric Center, it went very well and, therefore, we thought it would be interesting to organize more. The idea is to take advantage of Padel's potential and make the modality known to these young people and adults with some type of disability and who need this stimulus and practice of physical activity», begins by referring Afonso Franco, psychomotrician and Padel instructor, responsible for organization of this initiative, together with Gonçalo Roque, from the padel section of Sporting Clube Farense.

Ao Sul Informação, Afonso Franco explains that Padel is a recent modality whose adapted aspect is already implemented in Lisbon. «Here, it does not yet exist, and, therefore, our objective is to implement Adapted Padel in the Algarve as early as next year», reveals the professional.

«The modality of Padel turns out to be, in addition to being social, easy to learn and, as the name implies, it is adapted to the characteristics of each one and their abilities, but it is still Padel. Some rules change, some aspects of training are changed, but it's Padel and that's the most important thing », he explains.


Afonso Franco and Gonçalo Roque, the organizers of the second Padel Adapted Algarve meeting. Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação


Afonso was still preparing the fields for the activities when the first young people began to arrive. Happy, they showed a willingness to pick up the racket and throw the first balls.

The initiative, which lasted most of the morning, took place in two fields. In one, the participants had to carry out a psychomotor coordination circuit through some sports materials. In the other, they moved on to racket exercises, «to have a first approach to the modality».

Cláudio Francisco, sports coach at ACASO, in Olhão, highlights the importance of these activities «for the cognitive and physical development» of these children and adults and regrets that there are still not many options for adapted sports in the Algarve.

«Unfortunately, here, there are very few adapted modalities and these initiatives are important to show that there can be many more. What is needed is more investment», emphasizes the sports coach.


Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação


Ana Rita Palma, a psychologist at Apatris 21, an association participating in this initiative for the second time, also stresses the importance of these activities so that all children “feel included in society”.

«It is necessary to show that all sports can also be adapted to these children. Seeking out their individual interests is very important and sport is important both for socializing and for improving their quality of life and health».

After a break for the morning snack, the groups switched fields, so that they could go through all the activities.

The meeting «was very well accepted», which leads Afonso Franco to believe that «Adapted Padel can be another reference modality in the Algarve», given that «the idea is to create weekly training sessions and, possibly, then go to national meetings », refer the psychomotor therapist.


Photos: Mariana Sedge | Sul Informação