Image above: Jack Binstead at Rocks Lane Sports Centre; Photograph by Matt Smith
TV star Jack Binstead searching for sponsors for adaptive padel at Rocks Lane
Actor and comedian Jack Binstead, best known for playing Rem Dogg in Bad Education, plays adaptive padel at Rocks Lane Sports Centre just off Turnham Green Terrace.
Padel tennis has soared in popularity over recent years, which can be attributed to several factors, including its accessibility, the social aspect of playing doubles, and the fact that it is a fun and easy sport to learn for players of all ages and skill levels.
Jack talked to The Chiswick Calendar about the popular new form of tennis, sharing his inspiring story, his ambitious pursuit of international competition and the critical need for sponsorship to acquire a new sports wheelchair.
Images above: Jack Binstead at Rocks Lane, Jack with his coach Luke Dolphin
“I’m going to be the number one adaptive padel player the world”
Jack’s journey into adaptive padel began with an invitation from his friend and coach, Luke Dolphin, who had embraced the sport. After some initial hesitation, Jack decided to give it a try, and within a month, he was captivated. This newfound passion led him to become a driving force in establishing first adaptive padel team in England.
“One day, I just said, You know what, I’m going to come down, I’m going to have a go. And after one lesson I fell in love with the sport completely.”
Despite his background in various sports, including Team GB’s National Development squad as a teenager and England’s team for pool, Jack found adaptive padel to be the sport which best provided an escape, a sense of clarity, and a profound feeling of well-being.
“This is the one sport I’ve done in my life where I just feel at my best. It cleared my head and has done so many great things for me playing the sport, and I get that same feeling every time I get back on the court.”
Jack’s journey led him to search for a doubles partner, and he found the perfect fit in Mat Johnstone, a seasoned wheelchair tennis player. Their partnership aims to represent the UK as they compete on the international adaptive padel stage.
“The competition level, especially the Spanish players are incredibly high. You know, they’re beating most able-bodied people who can play at a high level. So I mean, these guys are top-notch.”
His hopes for the future?
“I’m going to be the number one adaptive padel player the world!”
Image above: Jack with his padel partner Mat Johnstone
Sponsor Jack to help fund adaptive padel tennis
Rocks Lane, where Jack plays adaptive padel, have recently increased the number of padel courts on site due to how popular the sport has become. As adaptive padel is still in its early stages in the UK, Jack is determined to promote the sport and gain the recognition and support it deserves.
Sponsorship is a crucial aspect of this mission, as it helps cover expenses such as training, equipment, and tournament participation.
“It allows us to go out and compete, it allows us to train and allows us to have the equipment that we need.”
Jack told me the current wheelchairs at Rock’s Lane are basic and heavy, and emphasised the importance of acquiring specialised adaptive padel wheelchairs, which enable greater mobility and better performance on the court.
Jack aspires to become the number one adaptive padel player in the world. His vision extends beyond personal achievement, focusing on the inclusivity and unity that adaptive padel can bring to people with disabilities.
“I think this is such a great sport for people with disabilities. It’s disabilities uniting people together.”
To support Jack and the growth of adaptive padel in the UK, those interested can connect with him through his Instagram account, @jack_padel or on Rocks Lane’s Instagram at @rockslanepadel.
Jack’s message to the public is simple: “Come and see us do it.” Witness their journey, be inspired, and help spread the word about adaptive padel.