[box type = "info"]Padel Magazine - Raul Arias, former pro player has become one, the president of the association of professional padel players. He takes stock of his first year and gives us his vision on his management of the World Padel Tour. [/ box]
Padel Magazine: This is your first year at the head of the association of professional padel players. Can you give us an overview of 2013?
Raul Arias: We are very satisfied with our work. We had a show this year with our tournaments World Padel Tour. Big matches, very spectacular which means that the padel can only develop with these assets.
Look at this audience we had, very active, very knowledgeable and passionate about this padel. With this general atmosphere we can only be satisfied with this year.
There is also a lot of quality in the players, just see what we have at the Masters but not only. There are young people coming in and playing very well.
People who love this sport are always more numerous and come from all social categories.
So we can say that globally, it is very positive.
Padel Magazine: After such a positive year, I imagine that the objectives have been revised upwards?
Raul Arias: The world Padel Tour absolutely needs to internationalize further, even if he has already done a lot of work. Today, the main tournaments are played in Spain, but we are doing everything to ensure that there are stages elsewhere than in Spain, such as in Portugal and Argentina, which were very successful. This therefore encourages us to continue on this path.
Padel Magazine: And then France ... We too will have a stage of World Padel Tour in no time ?
Raul Arias: First of all, the priority is to strengthen our position in Spain and to have a Padel confident. But it is obviously very important that the padel leave Spain, towards the countries of Europe and the world more generally. With this 2014 there could be new steps. We are trying to develop padel with this type of event. It's positive for the world. But it would be very interesting if we could stop off in France. There are plenty of things to do.
Padel Magazine: I would like us to stay a little more in France. What can be done to help the French padel to develop?
Raul Arias: I think we have to go step by step, as we develop the activity in France so that people discover a little more this sport. France will develop through good communication and your newspaper is a proof that the padel is growing. People see through you that the padel is a beautiful machine with this spectacular game. People will be more motivated to build land or open padel clubs.
Padel Magazine: We are a country where there are many racket players, can not you help directly in France via a particular office?
Raul Arias: I think that indeed, France has a great tradition of tennis, with a powerful tennis federation, there is around this sport an important potential for the padel. Tennis players and other racket sports will be passionate about paddle tennis. I understand that the number of tennis players for example in France is at least as important as in Spain and I even believe more. A strong federation could show this way. But things are being done little by little, as for example in Nice.
Padel Magazine; We have nice clubs like Nice, Toulouse, Aix or even that of Perpignan, there is also a new indoor club in Laval which opened its doors not long ago, the padel is on… But help maybe necessary for the padel to really take?
Raul Arias: Yes the padel is growing in France little by little with these padel clubs growing, hope that the 2014 year is fruitful for the French padel. We will see that.
Padel Magazine: We also have a new padel club near Monaco, in Beausoleil more precisely, that you may know?
Raul Arias: No I do not know, I'm in contact with people in Monaco and we try to develop things. But as we say good luck to this new club and the French padel.
Padel Magazine: What does padel lack to outsource with force?
Raul Arias: I think there is a lack of communication in the countries to allow this sport to develop. The padel is not yet known. As we say things are done little by little. For example, Germany and Switzerland are now building many padel fields. Germany thanks to it is developing strongly. And with this kind of development, there will be an impact on all European countries. I really believe that the padel will grow strongly. And then there is Munich in not long.
Padel Magazine: What are your relations with the international padel federation?
Raul Arias: It's going very well. There is a very good relationship between us. They also promote the padel. We often talk about developing countries and try to support those countries. The FIP has a goal a little different from ours because it has a very attentive eye on padel development in other European countries.
Padel Magazine: And with France? What are the relationships?
Raul Arias: We do not have much relationship with France, we hope of course that it develops and there is a better relationship with the French paddle authorities, but for the moment, there is no great thing.
Padel Magazine: Finally, do you have a message to send to the French padel?
Raul Arias: Develop the padel, build the fields, open padel clubs, and I hope we can do a good job together with this great sport and see French players come into the circuit.
Franck Binisti - Padel Magazine
Franck Binisti discovers the padel at the Pyramid Club in 2009 in the Paris region. Since then padel is part of his life. You often see him touring France by going to cover the big French paddle events.