Telford International Centre is set to cement its position as a leading host venue for large-scale sporting events when it opens its doors to the Pickleball English Open in August.
More than 1,000 competitors from over 25 countries are expected to compete across the four-day tournament, which has doubled in size since the 2022 edition. The event will see three of Telford International Centre’s event halls transform into 40 pickleball courts, further utilising the venue’s additional meeting and social spaces for competitors and visitors alike.
The 2023 English Open is set to be the largest pickleball event to take place outside of the USA, highlighting the significant uptake of the sport across the UK. Popular in the USA, pickleball is a cross between tennis, badminton and table tennis, played on a court roughly a quarter the size of a tennis court.
Participation in the UK has grown exponentially, with pickleballEngland aiming to attract 25,000 players by 2025. With ambitious plans to continue the sport’s rapid growth, Telford International Centre was selected for its ability to scale, space-wise, as well as its convenient Midlands location, on-site hotels and on-the-doorstep restaurants and leisure.
Karen Mitchell, Chair & Co-Founding Director of pickleballEngland said: ‘This year’s event is by far our biggest yet and we can’t wait to welcome everyone to experience it. With this English Open being so much bigger than last year’s, we needed a venue that could help us grow both as an event and a sport. We see Telford International Centre as a perfect partner, for its facilities, destination and in our working together – and I hope it will be a catalyst to further increase participation in pickleball across the country.’
Alison Griffin, Managing Director at Telford International Centre, said: “Hosting the 2023 Pickleball English Open shows just how well-placed Telford is to host major sporting events, building upon our success with boxing, gymnastics and snooker competitions. We are excited for this forthcoming event; pickleball really is the new in-demand sport and we’re sure this year’s competition will play a key role in enabling pickleballEngland to achieve its objectives.”
Hosting the English Open is the latest indicator of Telford International Centre’s continued growth. Earlier this month, the venue reported record visitors and revenues in the period April 2022 to March 2023, with a contribution of around £110 million to the local economy through business tourism.