Diego Mieres (Netherlands): “I’ve been in this sport for 25 years, thanks to Fip giant steps forward”June 23, 2023
Diego Mieres, besides being a hot name in padel, is the coach of the Dutch team at the EG2023. For him, padel is a family affair: his brother Juani was number one on the circuit ten years ago, paired with another world padel icon, Pablo Lima. The Oranje team plunged into this adventure with the usual enthusiasm, typical of their country's approach to major competitions. On the other hand, Holland is experiencing remarkable growth from the padel point of view and the reflection on the competitiveness of the national teams is a logical consequence. Diego, being the padel man that he is, knows perfectly well that we are facing an epoch-making moment, with the first participation in the European Games and with the debut of a discipline, Mixed, which is widely practised in clubs all over the world. "For me, promoting padel at an international level is extremely important, this is a magnificent initiative of the Fip, which has given us the opportunity to experience a great team competition", Mieres reflects. "I have been following this sport for the last 20-25 years and it is amazing to see the progress that has been made recently: so many new nations taking part, so many quality players. The improvement of the sport and the organisation through the work of Fip is truly extraordinary”. Diego is also aiming high, that is, at what, at the level of teams and federations, would be the most beautiful, incredible adventure. "The Olympics are a dream that can come true, on the other hand the padel movement has reached very high levels, we can also see it from the success of the tournaments organised all over the world by the International Federation, through the Premier Padel circuit, for example. Every aspect is growing, not only the level of the athletes but also what is around them. There are many things to improve, but if we look back, we have made huge steps”. Mieres then takes a snapshot of Dutch padel. "We are growing well and the number of courts has increased a lot. Especially the indoor facilities, because we notoriously have a very variable climate in the Netherlands. The Dutch Padel Federation, in close synergy with the Fip, is also working very hard to organise high-level international events”. There are around 75,000 active players in Holland with around 1,500 courts. “We have already surpassed the number of golfers, which is very popular. We have many former tennis players who for various reasons decide to switch to padel. Many of the practitioners are very young, it is no coincidence that here in Krakow we have had 20 and 21 year old players on the court. We believe that by technically developing the younger generation we can achieve results in the future”.