ISLAND Padel have set the wheels in motion for a “phased reopening” of their St Clement facility, after it was decimated during Storm Ciarán.
Co-founder Scott Clayton says he feels “a sense of duty” to the community to open in some capacity before the end of the year.
St Clement bore the brunt of the damage caused by the storm, with the parish Constable Marcus Troy urging Islanders not to treat the worst-hit areas as a “zoo” amid reports that people had been wandering around to look at the devastation. (Full story: page 1)
While Clayton and Jubb remain in discussion with the insurers, the plan is to work on preparing the two outdoor courts for play, before commencing work on the three additional indoor courts in the new year.
Although accommodating a user-base of over 2,000 people will not be feasible in the short-term, Island Padel is committed to giving their community a venue to play at “as soon as possible”, according to Clayton.
He said: “Our immediate aim is to have the two outdoor courts back in action before the end of the calendar year.
“We can then progress with the construction of the remaining courts, while having the facility partially open.
“We feel that we not only have a duty to ourselves in terms of bringing back our revenue stream, but we have a deeper commitment to our padel community to provide them with a place to play.
“A lot of Islanders rely on us to stay active and meet friends.
“At a time where mental health is an issue at the forefront of our minds, we are very conscious of how important it is to keep active and remain social.”
The construction process for Clayton and his partner Morgan Jubb, is very much fresh in their minds, given the fact it was just 18 months ago that they were on the journey to create the current facility.
With their state-of-the-art project reduced to ruins in a matter of minutes at the beginning of the month, focus has shifted back to those who made the initial dream a reality.
“Having done this build before very recently, myself and Morgan are very clued up to what needs to be done from a construction front,” added Clayton.
“We have felt very supported from the various companies we have liaised with.
“AAL, who are heading up the deconstruction, have been amazing with the speed of their delivery.
“We have also been in touch with Hacquoil & Cook, who originally built the courts and they are ready to go.
“It’s a time where we have had to take a step back and appreciate the support which has poured in from all angles.
“Our sponsor Rathbones has been amazing. We do really feel the love.
“What we do appreciate is that insurance assessors are inundated at present, with some people who have been displaced from their homes as a result of the storm.
“They take priority and rightly so. On our side, we just need to wait for the process to unfold and then set about the next steps to rebuild.”