Padel Magazine - Jean-Noël Grinda (JNG), winner of Roland Garros Junior, former French N ° 2 in tennis looks back on his journey around Padel as former co-President of the French Federation of Padel (FFP) and great fan of this sport. JNG chose Padel Magazine to get out of his reserve and respond to various comments. To prove all his words, JNG in total transparency, wanted to support his testimony by putting online the FFT Court Judgments - Carity and Correspondence between FFP and FTT.
Padel Magazine - Did you want the Padel with the FFT? And why did it take so long?
Jean-Noël Grinda (JNG) - First, contrary to what has been said, I was the initiator of the rapprochement between the Padel and the French Tennis Federation (FFT) as soon as I arrived at the head of the FFP in 2007. We have many documents, have made several meetings with the FFT at Roland Garros with the President and his teams at the time . If the FFT has now integrated the Padel, ambition for us is therefore not new.
Padel Magazine - You said outside the interview that you regret that some people go so far as to criticize the integrity and recognition of the FFP ...
We have been a federation for 22 years. I was co-President of the FFP for 7 years.
We have benefited from a Convention signed with the Jeu de Paume (On the directive of Dominique BREDIN Sports Minister of the time) and grants from the Ministry of Sports for 21 years.
In 2009 the French Tennis Federation granted us a grant of 20.000 euros to help us develop the Padel in Ile-de-France, first step towards a definitive merger (a draft FFT / FFP Partnership Agreement having been drawn up with Mr BAUD at the request of Christian BIMES).
The draft of a national plan to renovate dozens of tennis courts that are rarely used as tennis courts Padel had even been mentioned to diversify the offer of these clubs.
We organized a world championship in 2000 with 14 nations, Place du Capitole in Toulouse, a European championship in AIX en PROVENCE in 2009 and participated in all the European and World Championships organized by the FIP (of which we were member)
Do you really think we could have done all of this if we didn't have the proper recognition?
So yes when I read here or there or even when I hear some scandalously criticizing the FFP, that we would have taken advantage of the situation to enrich ourselves, and so on, I find that laughable!
Padel Magazine - Why did you take charge of the FFP?
The FFP was in receivership with a continuation plan to settle 50382 euros of debt in 10 years, debts that we have inherited from the past and reduced by half today. Those responsible at the time came to me to help them. I set as the only condition on my arrival that I can lead the Padel towards the FFT because I thought it was the best guarantee of development of this sport which is so dear to me.
With my status as a former Davis Cup tennis player and my special relationship with Christian Bimes, then President of the FFT, I thought I could get there in a fairly short time. The FFP committee at the time accepted my proposal and I therefore became the co-president of the FFP. It was the only reason for my arrival in the Padel.
But then why did it take so long for the FFT to integrate the Padel ?
Christian Bîmes did not wish to run again in 2009 when he was for the immediate integration of the Padel. When Jean Gachassin became the new president of the FFT, the Padel was no longer an urgent priority for the FFT. He clearly expressed this in a letter he sent to us 5 years ago.
We were then asked by the Ministry to be an independent Federation. But it was not possible. Too complicated, too much debt, and then you had to have a certain number of licensees, be a sufficiently mature sport… Which is still not the case.
And then in 2013 we found ourselves without a subsidy. I paid out of my pocket several thousand Euros as well as other members of the Committee, in order to delay the expiry of the liquidation as much as possible. We therefore asked to be put into bankruptcy very logically because we could no longer pay our debts.
All these reasons meant that it took longer than expected for this merger to be completed. But it's done. I am delighted and I hope that the Padel will really explode. We can also observe a very clear development of Padel for a year or two.
You explained to me that you were disappointed by Cédric Carité and even have sadness. Why ?
Cédric Carité is a good player, he played with my son in the France team, and I received him at home. We trusted him, and helped him in every way to get started in the Padel. The FFP had made him its only employee and appointed him DTN. In return, it cost the FFP dearly (25000 euros in legal fees (2013, 2014)) for several procedures initiated by it. He became "persona non grata" in many French clubs because of a shocking behavior, on or off the field and that ended with an illegal action vis-à-vis the FFP, action for which he was sentenced. (FFT Court Judgments - Carity)
Sad and disappointed… Yes!
Let's change the subject, if you will allow me, to talk about your story around the Padel… Does it start shortly after your tennis career?
I've always lived Padel.
I actually knew Enrique Corcuera the founder of the Padel in the 70s and we had set up a dozen private plots of Padel in Acapulco. At the time, we met every year around Christmas time to compete in what was pompously called our “world championships”. It was quite quaint as there were no clubs and matches were played on different courts in different private homes! In addition, each house had different rules depending on the specificity of the court. The dimensions were never the same, the height of the net, the walls, (see the absence of certain walls!) were not identical and each householder had his opinion on how the game should be played. Prohibition of service volley, or spike the ball out of court were some examples! Needless to say that there were already a lot of debates, but always in a good mood.
Fortunately with the success the game has been standardized little by little to finally arrive at the rules and dimensions that we know today.
For two years, the Padel finally took off tremendously. People who try are passionate about Padel, young and old alike. I had knee surgery and yet the Padel allows me to have a lot of fun. I play it almost every day with my wife and all the neighbors who have all been there. My land is in my garden, that's to say to you.
What is the future of Padel for you ?
Le Padel has a great future. Thanks to the support by the FFT, the Padel will finally benefit from the logistical and structural support it deserves and which will enable it to become sustainable. The Padel is the perfect sport to complement the offer in tennis clubs. See what is happening in Spain where tennis clubs have experienced a new impetus with the establishment of tennis courts. Padel to diversify the offer to customers. To the point of becoming a national sport.
I hope very soon I will see this in France because it is just a phenomenal sport.
Franck Binisti - Padel Magazine
Ps: Thank you to contrast-photographe.com for making these beautiful photos.
After obtaining his instructor's diploma padel of the Madrid Federation of padel, Franck Binisti creates with a small group: Padel Magazine. This site will become the first website of padel French. Thanks to the readers, Padel Magazine will set up the directory of padel GOTOPADEL. Franck also manages the development of the National Padel Cup in partnership with Christophe Lesage and the National Tennis Cup.
Cédric Carité, president of the National League of Padel (LNP) wanted to react to the interview below with Jean-Noël Grinda in answering directly in his press release.
Franck Binisti discovers the padel at the Club des Pyramides in 2009 in the Paris region. Since padel is part of his life. You often see him touring France going to cover the major events of padel French.