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Almudena Lázaro, co-founder of Villa Pickleball: “Women are innate in the ability to rise up facing the adversity or any trouble”

You are a woman, an athlete and an entrepreneur, how did you get to this point?

A year and a half ago my life as an entrepreneur started and it was in one of those couch conversations during lockdown and we realized we wanted to make a change. A lesson the pandemic gave us because our family life was hit and we asked ourselves, ‘We should do something that makes us happy from the very beginning.’ And we started looking for it. A business idea that unifies a bit of our pillars or values as a family and we discovered pickleball. A sport that we fell in love with from the first moment and we started to look, look, look and we are already here. It has been hard, but that is how it was, “pim-pam”

Tell us what is pickleball?

Pickleball is a paddle sport that comes from the United States. There is the sport that more than 5 million people already play. Pickleball is now experiencing a boom like paddle or tennis did at the time. It is a very inclusive sport and very respectful with the partner and the person in front of you, pickleball has a philosophy around it that we really fell in love with. Playing is very simple because it has very simple rules that makes everyone who starts from the first minute can already enjoy the game. As for the competition, you can take part in international tournaments, tournaments at the regional level and even tournaments around Europe. It’s the sport! For us it is a mixture of paddle sports, such as ping-pong or badminton, because it is played on a court of similar dimensions to badminton. As a particularity it is very noble like rugby or American soccer, which seems very rough and hard, but behind it there is a very nice philosophy.

Where can pickleball be practiced?

Pickleball is practiced in our center in Sabadell, where the first indoor club in Catalonia is located. In Villa Pickleball we have four courts, and you can practice from Monday to Sunday at different times.

Why did you decide to participate in the Talks?

I am a member of ADE Vallès and as a businesswoman and woman in ADE I had already heard about these talks. I was invited and I found them fascinating. I am delighted to participate and to be able to share this talk with the rest of women, who will explain what they have achieved as well. I am very happy to be here with them.

Can you give us a summary of your participation in the Talks?

I will talk about my experience as an entrepreneur in the world of sports. If entrepreneurship is difficult, when you talk about sport and a new one, it is even more complex. We start from minus 10, because it is an unknown sport, so it is even more difficult. We are here with great enthusiasm, with a lot of energy and giving our all so that this sport reaches as many people as possible, because it is very cool and fun.

If you had to look for a common link between a woman, a businesswoman and an athlete, what do you think it would be?

Perseverance and commitment. In addition, women have something inherent, the ability to face the adversity or to make an effort against any trouble. This perseverance keeps you going over time, carry on and being there to make your work successful. Perhaps this inherent commitment makes us be here, keep on going and be successful in everything women have achieved.

 To what extent do you think it is important to have forums like the SC Trade Center Talks that give women entrepreneurs a voice?

Great! When I started, I tried to find associations of women with similar interest, who started with an idea from the ground up in our environment. I had the need to meet women who had already done a similar challenge as mine. It is very important for women who have the intention of starting a business can come here and contact those who have already done it.

A year and a half ago I had another job, nothing to do with this, and I changed everything for this project.

Almudena Lázaro, co-founder of Villa Pickleball:
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