The LTA has appointed Matt Stanforth as its Padel Performance Manager, who will assume the new role on 16 January next year.
Coming from a developing sport I feel he [Matt Stanforth] will add significant value in building our Padel Performance Programme and Pathway. Tom Murray, LTA Head of Padel
Stanforth will oversee three key areas: managing performance players and support they receive from the LTA, developing a player pathway for the sport, and managing national teams while creating opportunities in a variety of categories.
Having spent the last 14 years at Table Tennis England, Stanforth most recently occupied the role of Head of England Performance there.
“I would like to thank Tom Murray and the LTA for giving me this great opportunity as Padel Performance Manager, Stanforth said. “I have been involved in performance and talent development for the last 20 years, both as coach and in performance management capacity, and hope my experience and input will have a positive impact on Padel in this country.
“This is a really exciting time for the sport with its rapid growth both domestically and internationally and are looking to working with the players, coaches, staff and wider Padel community.”
Tom Murray, Head of Padel at the LTA said: “We are very excited to welcome Matt to the LTA’s Padel team where he will bring significant experience with performance players, taking national teams to Commonwealth Games for many years now.
“Coming from a developing sport I feel he will add significant value in building our Padel Performance Programme and Pathway.”
The appointment comes after news broke last month that the International Padel Federation (FIP) has filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) seeking to stop what it characterises as a ‘hostile takeover’ of padel governance by the ITF.
The agenda at the ITF AGM included a vote to ‘adopt the discipline of padel’ and assume governance for the sport, but the proposal failed to receive the support from the required two-thirds of members attending the meeting in Glasgow in November.
The ITF said taking over the discipline would be similar to what happened with beach tennis in 2008, but the FIP reacted furiously to the move and filed a case with the CAS in which it accuses the ITF of breaking the terms of an agreement signed by the ITF and FIP in 2019, as well as contravening the Olympic Charter.
In a statement after the failed vote, the ITF said: “Padel is currently one of the fastest growing sports in the world and many national tennis associations are involved in its development within their countries.
“As such, the International Tennis Federation was asked by a number of its member nations to explore the need to support Padel in areas such as developing a global governance framework, international competition infrastructure, and enabling equal opportunities for men and women.
“This work was undertaken and presented to the 2022 ITF Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Glasgow today.
“This allowed member associations to take a decision about whether they wished for the ITF to provide them with support to develop Padel on a global basis.
“While the majority of national tennis associations today voted for this, it was below the 2/3rds threshold that ITF governance rules require.
“Given the role many national tennis associations are playing in growing Padel, the ITF remains open to seeking to collaborate with stakeholders.”
Padel has been included on the programme for next year’s European Games and the Olympic Council of Asia is currently reviewing its potential for Asian Games inclusion.