Three and a half years ago, a project matured in the heads of a group of friends: Nicole David, Olivier David, Olivier Vilaceque as well as Philippe Conte and Pierre Conte, father and son. Their idea: create a club of padel, on the outskirts of Toulouse.
On Padel, it is a structure of 2.500m2, in Escalquens, south-east of Toulouse. 7 slopes including 2 semi-covered, a restaurant, a clubhouse, a seminar room… in short, a space where friendliness and padel will collide.
To talk about the imminent opening of the club, scheduled for February 15, Nicole David, associate president, tells us more about this project and the club's ambitions !
Years of preparation
The project dates back three and a half years. Finding a venue that could match the players took a bit of time. The club is a new construction, which was born from the story of four friends, all players of padel.
We wanted to launch into a collective project on a subject that was particularly close to our hearts.
For my part, I have always been a sales director. The transition to becoming an entrepreneur was a real change. There is everything to learn about the functioning of a business. We quickly realize that all skills are super important.
I had to pass a few diplomas, like the TFP of the FFT. I also did training, linked to hygiene and safety, the sale of drinks…To start a club padel today, you really have to have several strings to his bow.
Escalquens, a brand destination
The site is located at Escalquens. It was a choice on our part becausethere are no clubs there. This is a side of Toulouse that interested us because of its environment.
We were lucky to find each other between Decathlon and Audi. The Decathlon is the biggest in the region and so naturally, there is going to be a similar clientele. It was a perfect opportunity for us.
With regard to other structures of padel of the region, I don’t see them as competitors.. For me, There are still clubs missing in Toulouse. The more clubs there are, the more players there will be.
Today, demand is far greater than supply. Ultimately, not everyone can play when they want to.
Latest generation installations
In terms of facilities, we will have a bar which will be central to create conviviality. This is our watchword. We really want to have a club life. We are going to have a restaurant, with a lunch menu. During the day there will be various snacks offered by the chef. As for the evening, we will have more of an atmosphere bodega type.
Regarding the building for covered land, we have a double insulation, which is really important for player comfort. Regarding the height, we have, at the lowest 8 meters and at the highest 10 meters. In the region, not everyone was so lucky.
We will also have an autonomous opening grounds, from 7 a.m. until midnight. This means that players will be able to come, even when the clubhouse is not open. Access to the locker rooms will also be given, even if the clubhouse is closed.
There will be group and individual lessons which will be provided by Benjamin Bez. We will also have a seminar room with a latest generation touch screen. In parallel, we will also offer initiations with Benjamin.
Tournaments, an important aspect
We designed and built the grounds to be able to accommodate P1000, and even P2000, with space needed to make outings. The federation did its job and she came to control the construction of the grounds, the space for outings, etc. It’s really important and the federation really played its role. The first wave of tournaments for the start of the year has already been announced but We will do everything we can to receive these approved tournaments at the end of the year.
Whatever happens, we will organize a tournament, whatever the level, during the week, as well as a tournament on Sunday. At the end of each tournament, there will be a prize giving with a cocktail, so that people who participated in the tournament can chat at the end. Everything is done for people to meet each other.
Conviviality and sharing, key values
We wanted to think about the club on one level. From the clubhouse, you arrive directly on the grounds to create a global atmosphere. That is to say, as soon as you have stairs, it changes the atmosphere. As a result, with the single storey, we will have a panoramic view of all the grounds.
In terms of club life, we will broadcast, in the evening, the matches of padel, rugby, football… We want to give players the opportunity to have a friendly time. We want people to meet and have a good time. We want people to get to know each other, so that networks can work too.
We have a network of business leaders and the idea is to be able to give them the opportunity to introduce themselves to each other. We want to create an emulsion within the club. We are going to have a lot of evenings, not necessarily linked to padel. The idea here is to make local people work so they can promote their concept for free.
The greatest satisfaction we could have is that people come up to us at the end to tell us that they had a good time. Beyond the rental of the slopes, the quality of the terrain, this is really the aspect that is important to us.
It was his brother who one day told him to accompany him on a track. padel, since then, Gwenaëlle has never left the court. Except when it comes to going to watch the broadcast of Padel Magazine, World Padel Tour… or Premier Padel…or the French Championships. In short, she is a fan of this sport.