Padel Magazine meets Ole Egholm, former president of the Danish Padel Federation, who will be in Malaga with his club to participate in the Padel Club Intercontinental Cup organized in Malaga by the AECP.
Padel Magazine: tell us about your career in padel and your news!
Ole Egholm: I was president of our federation for almost two years, but that’s over now. I am in the process of resuming my old activities (e.g. financial industrial analysis), which are much more profitable. I still play padel about three times a week: my level is still very average, but it still gives me so much fun to play!
I am still at Ballerup Padel Klub, a club with over 600 members. There I devised a ranking model and we organize competitions 3-4 times a week. You play intensely for two hours with 3 other people who are exactly at your level. This produces competitions worthy of the Olympics.
I also founded another padel club in the city where I live, Gladsaxe, a neighboring city of Copenhagen: the Gladsaxe Padel Klub. And our municipality is creating 3 padel courts for us – outside – that will open at the end of this year.
The rivalry between tennis and padel
PM: In Denmark we know that it is not easy between tennis and padel. Can you tell us what’s going on?
OE: To begin with, I am no longer chairman of the Danish federation (Dansk Padel Forbund). I was president for 665 days and in that time we went from 99 to 610 padel courts. Now we have passed the 800 court line. I left because our board of directors decided to accept an agreement with the National Olympic Committee (DIF) to become an independent member from 2024.
The National Olympic Committee should have accepted us as early as 2022 and we won a legal discussion with them, who generally supported us. I didn’t want to accept a two-year delay, with all the money for padel being distributed to the tennis federation in the meantime. But I was in the minority and luckily all my colleagues from the padel federation (DPF) are still working to become full members.
The development of padel clearly shows that our DIF is “late” in terms of accepting padel as an independent sport.
So I am no longer the right person to explain the relationship between tennis and padel at the level of the federation. However, as a spectator I see that it is still the padel federation that does most of the activities for padel. While the tennis federation just gets the money…
PM: Why the Intercontinental Cup of Padel Clubs? Why do you think it’s a great event that helps promote our sport?
OE: This model has allowed us to choose the best men and women to participate in the Intercontinental Cup of Padel Clubs in Malaga. As for the federation, I think it is very interesting for our club to be able to participate in international tournaments. Several of our participants were already present at the AECP competition in 2021 and we hope to do better this time!
Stay in touch with padel people
PM: What is your future in padel?
OE: I have no future in the padel industry. I make padel my past. At least on a professional level. In terms of sports, I am now 55 years old and hope to be able to play until I am 80. And unlike 2019, I am now convinced that padel will survive – and much more than that – in Denmark. So I have no doubt that in 25 years I will be able to play padel all over Denmark.
I am currently planning a two month bike ride with my girlfriend. The start is in Copenhagen towards Calabria, southern Italy. During this trip we will not really play padel, nor will I take care of it or think about it. But even though padel is probably a thing of the past, I still hope to keep in touch with the wonderful people I met during my “journey” in this area. Among them Franck Binisti and Lorenzo Lecci Lopez.
PM: What do you think of these changes, developments in recent months, including the establishment of a new professional tournament?
OE: I don’t really have an opinion on these topics. Basically, I think the more tournaments you host, the more players you “create”. Now in Denmark we already have tournaments every weekend and soon there will be every day!
Initially attracted to tennis, I wanted to take an interest in padel to discover the different hidden sides of this sport. That’s why I decided to join the Padel Magazine team. See you soon on site!