Franck Bellaiche, head of the Tunisian association of padel, looks back on the history of the association, between weekly competitions and management of a long waiting list, testifying to the explosion in the popularity of our sport.

The history of the Tunisian association of padel

The story began 6-7 years ago when I first discovered the padel, which was still very little developed in France, because there were very few tracks. I played a game and found this sport immediately friendly, very fun, and ultimately quite addictive because after the first game, you immediately wanted to play again. The fact that it is a four-player sport means that we share good times with the other players. But since there have to be four of us, when a player is missing we call another friend and then we suggest we try, and the following week we find ourselves with five players so we have to find three others, and so on. !

At the opening of Home Padel, we started to be a group of friends of eight to ten players. We're not going to say that it was regular, but we lent ourselves to the game. The problem was that for eight to ten players, we already needed two fields, so it wasn't easy to find clubs where the 'we could have two tracks available. And then, one thing led to another, one friend bringing another, there were twelve of us, then sixteen. I then started to chat a little with Casa Padel, explaining to them that we were a group of friends and that it was always a little difficult to get land.

Tunisian Association of padel

I then offered them a small contract so that they could reserve land for us, it started like that. Then, five years ago, I decided to set up the Tunisian association of padel and enter into a contract with Casa Padel so that every Sunday they block four fields from us. Then as I realized that there were finally many of us, I started to organize a mini tournament and every week from now on we have tournament winners, with pools, and the teams change.

I would like to point out that there are not only Tunisians in the association. We are mostly of Tunisian origin but it is more of an art of living with the Tunisians, who are “kiffers” of the, people who like good times, good laughs, but it is not communitarianism . 

The passage of Cyril Hanouna

We have a friend who knows Cyril Hanouna, he brought him with us and Cyril had fun playing padel and spent two years with us. We ended up with around forty players in the association. Cyril progressed very quickly compared to us and he is someone who has a competitive spirit, he then left to do real competitions afterwards and therefore left the association, but we are still friends. 

Cyril Hanouna

An association victim of its success

Today I have 40 members, we have 8 courts reserved every Sunday and I have a weekly tournament with a pool system, there is a number of matches which accumulate points, and depending on your scores and your victories, you fuel a championship. For 5 years, we have had an annual champion, a ranking, and of course being champion is the Holy Grail of the association. Every week it's very fun because people want to win their tournament. Every Wednesday evening you have a draw which awards you your teammate.

Unfortunately, I have to close the entrances to the association because we don't have enough room for everyone to play. If I bring more members into the association, I cannot get everyone to play and as they contribute, as they have their subscriptions, they must be able to play. It's quite problematic. Today, there is a large waiting list of people who would like to join the association.

His opinion on the development of padel

It is certain that there will be a boom in padel. All over the world we have more and more visibility. We see it in all countries, you also see it in Arab countries, with the Premier Padel which made a big impact. It's starting to spread everywhere, there's not even the slightest doubt that it's going to grow enormously in a lot of countries.

I do not see any potential obstacle to the development of padel, in countries where you have mild temperatures, it is very conducive for the practice of padel because you can really do more ground in outdoor and you can really exploit things as much as possible so I don't see any obstacle to the padel grows everywhere in the future. 

Dorian Massy

New follower of padel, I am fascinated by this dynamic sport which combines strategy and agility. I find in the padel a new passion to explore and share with you on Padel Magazine.