The “Swiss Army Knife”, Line Meites offers us the 2nd part of her column “The Padel : battle of the sexes? ”. Direction competition and women.
Do as for gentlemen at the ladies?
Some women play padel. Others play padel AND like to compete. Should we apologize for this? No more tournaments? Or perhaps, all together, think about how to better fit together to see if solutions emerge and are achievable? The girls already have a lot less tournaments offered on the year. We are at 1 for 3-4 ratio!
With good partners / sponsors, thoughtful, anticipated and well chosen, some tournaments have already offered the night from Saturday to Sunday free for participants, a meal on Saturday night cheaply, shuttles from the station or airport-club-hotel (Note that no shuttle from Toulouse station to the hotel or club, was planned for the French Championships!), etc.
A special effort is more and more necessary concerning transport and accommodation ... The players claim it and wait for it. I realized that, regarding women in any case, these points often came back as a barrier to participation in a tournament.
We do not earn at all our life padel, it is passion, and no one forces us to do it is true. However, to try to offset these costs, we like to see that the organizers think of us, try to do the best, respecting ALL participants, girls or boys ... and this is, alas, not always the case.
Differences felt between girls and boys
Unfortunately yes ... There are clearly differences in treatment between girls and boys today in France. These are facts that have been raised by many of us, and that I myself have experienced. This affects both the programming of the matches (hours and pitches) and the prize money awarded at the end.
Regarding the scheduling of games, it is sometimes incredible to see that half women will play Sunday on the 18 8h30 field mat, to leave the 1 and 2 men's semifinals at 10h. Knowing that they played the ¼ the night before at 20h30, after those of the boys, when the club was empty.
Amazing to see that, if the girls had not regrouped to go see the referee at the French Championships, and ask that a semi final is played on the central and be filmed, one game, the whole championship de France, would have played on the central before the final. In other words, only a quarter-finals and women's final were planned on the central field of ALL the championship ... There were about 15 men's games played in all on the central ...
As for the prize-money it's an eternal debate, not just the padel. It is understandable that a women's tournament is less profitable for a club. 12 women's teams will report less, consume and use the services of the club than a tournament with 24 men's teams (even if women defend themselves at the bar too ...). But on the other hand, is it normal to pay the same registration fees as men in the same tournament?
Some clubs have already made the choice to make a gesture for the players, by reducing the registration fee. Again it's nice and does not cost much to the club in the end. When we see the winners leave with a check of more than 700 € for 2, and at the same time and for the same category of tournament, women receive 400 € it's weird ... by combining the last 2 paragraphs, we are not at the top ...
This lack of consideration and recognition may be understood perhaps. The female game is different from its male counterpart. It's a fact and not just at the padel, once again. But some people appreciate the feminine game. Some big event organizers are even thinking of only proposing a women's tournament in the future ...
This was the case for the superb P1000 ladies padel tournament organized last September by Stéphan Rodriguez and his team at TCM5. We had high quality services and live streaming quality for us girls. This type of event must multiply to boost the women's paddle.
Line Meites is one of the best French padel players. It's the voice of your live on Padel Magazine. But not only, she also hosts the column “The investigations of the Swiss army knife”. Every month, she will come back to a controversy or a theme that is close to her heart.