Rafael Nadal officially opened the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in his hometown, Manacor, Mallorca, on Wednesday. The high-performance centre combines tennis and education, so that students can continue their pathway to professional tennis without having to neglect their academic studies.
“My future is here,” said Nadal. “I don’t imagine myself living away from Mallorca. The sport is my passion and creating this tennis academy is the most important part. You can also play lots of different sports here. I believe this is a centre that kids need. I will be very involved.
“There is also an international school, which is important to maintain the academic schedule. The team of coaches here [directed by Toni Nadal] have a lot of experience in our professional sport and, also, the knowledge to teach the kids that train at the academy. I’d like to make this a centre of tennis for everyone around the world.”
The Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar is equipped with the latest technology, including supervised residency exclusively for students, an American International School for children aged 10 to 18 years of age, and a clinic specialising in sports medicine, physiotherapy and nutrition. There are also 26 indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a fitness centre, two swimming pools (indoor and outdoor), mini-football pitches, three regulation multi-sport courts, 10 paddle tennis courts, a restaurant and café bar, pro shop and gardens.
“I don’t know how many players of Rafa’s calibre have an academy,” said Roger Federer, who was a special guest at the launch. “I see his D.N.A. all around, and that’s an incredible bonus. It’s a special place. His work ethic is right up there at the top, and he’ll be able to share his experiences. It’s very exciting… I’m proud to have been here today.”
ATP Executive Chairman & President Chris Kermode also attended the event alongside ITF President David Haggerty, Wimbledon Chairman Phillip Brook, David Brewer, Director, Pro Circuit and US Open Referee; and José María Álvarez-Pallete, Chairman & CEO of Telefónica.
Kermode said, “I’d like to congratulate Rafa and all those involved on this special day for the opening of the Rafa Nadal Academy. The facility is truly impressive, and it’s been an honour to be invited here for this landmark occasion. Rafa has an incredible passion for our sport, and this Academy is a further reflection of that. On behalf of the ATP, I’d like to wish the Academy the very best for a successful future.”
The 24,000-square metres academy, which opened its doors in June, brings 140 additional jobs to Manacor.