The FFT has announced 52 million euros of aid for the work of snowshoe clubs in 2018. Now tennis and paddle are officially treated equally in the French Tennis Federation. However, to get help the question gets complicated when we talk about private structures.
But basically what are the differences between private and municipal clubs? When public and private meet ...
|Private Clubs||Municipal Clubs|
|Home, explanations, implementation and proposals for parties to complete, existence of pro shop sometimes information and advice often advised because passionate and practicing in general||Party prizes, see even subscription with a club membership, sometimes coupled with that of tennis. Which amounts to a price per part totally derisory.|
|Very wide hourly amplitudes to play 7 / 7 and 10h-22h30 often.||Public servants or volunteers|
|Additional services: changing rooms; bar; often on-site catering possible (breakdown service or real chef in the kitchen)||No charges: the town owns the premises. Sometimes clubs have to "pay" for a rental.|
|Structures often adapted to the organization of events.||If the professor of the tennis club wants to invest and develop the padel, it is a certain chance.|
|Often a coach dedicated to this sport, more and more often trained and practicing|
|Private Clubs||Municipal Clubs|
|Charges: local, taxes||Little "life" offered: entertainment, evening or day, tournaments, catering, often 1 or 2 courts max (see specifications for organizing a P1000)|
|Number of employees needed to cover hours openings at salaries + charges||Few services offered, even a home is sometimes too much demand. In general, no linking, troubleshooting parts, etc.|
|Put an 1901 law association and fire players to be eligible for grants||The vast majority can not organize a P1000 (highest category of tournaments in France), because they can not respect the federal specifications (see table)|
|Price of the games (especially in "full hours") more expensive||Sometimes no equipment in state for rent.|
|Not eligible for federal grants at the moment ... This will change with the validation of Comex of aid also allocated to commercial structures||No bar or continuous presence. It is essential, in this sport, to develop conviviality, exchanges and meetings.|
|Training and level of teachers often insufficient or nonexistent.|
|Opening hours often reduced. The club is even sometimes closed holidays for example|
P1000 men specifications: minimum 3 courts, with a minimum ceiling height of 7m. For women, there are at least 2 courts with the same height.
All for one… or everyone for himself?
I think that to answer this question, you have to ask it in a different way. What values does this sport convey, straight from Spanish-speaking countries? What can make the padel can meet the expectations of many athletes?
What I see, what I feel, what I live, what I liked in the padel when I started (in 2013), it was because the spirit was, of course, tough on the ground, but very warm and friendly outside. It reminded me of team tennis matches… back then! (yes I am old).
Of course, all was not rosy, we remain human beings above all! But it was overall cool. I found in the clubs that I attended pleasant evenings to share games and good times; I took part in tournaments where, outside of matches, we shared a drink with those who passed, without distinction of levels.
This is what seems to me to be the recipe for the success and development of padel, and a club: welcome people in a suitable place: cloakroom, bar and sometimes catering possible; create animations; offer leisure tournaments: various formulas have been proven ... all you need to do is find out from the clubs that work well; organize approved tournaments; find or replace a player when there is an absent in a game; offer quality courses; broadcast matches of major sports competitions for customers; diversify its offer with the possibility of taking courses for external speakers, or even practicing other sports within the club; initiate business or team-building seminars, etc.
In short, create, offer, work to make everyone feel at home when they come to the club… at any time of the day or night! So of course it's work, enormous work and today times are hard for these structures, which are crumbling under the loads and desires of the people. But the key to success is there… in my opinion.
The FFT understood this and decided to work to really develop the padel, trying to adapt to the spirit of this new sport. The padel will be able to develop, and perhaps one day become an Olympic sport, if it is supported humanly and financially (among others ...) by a Federation of all. Everyone needs an increase in the number of practitioners, and resources invested for padel growth.
This sport can only grow with the presence of suitable structures, which meet the ever-increasing needs and expectations of the public. This is, among other things, that the FFT needs private structures… and that “All for one” is preferable to “Everyone for oneself”…
What about the competition?
Most departmental or regional competitions are played in private clubs. Why ? They are often the only ones to offer a sufficient number of courts and ancillary services to accommodate this kind of competition and meet federal specifications.
For the same reasons, until today, only private clubs have organized the French Championships. We are at 4st edition.
It should be noted that the FFT contributes to the costs of the organizing club ... to be shared with the league and the federal organizing bodies, on site.
As we have seen, all this should change in the years to come. The FFT wants to be from now on the only true representative for the development of Padel in France, and decided to work in this direction, freeing important funds for the future years with besides, the FFT PADEL TOUR. (and The My Padel Tour)
There are also private “itinerant” initiatives:
- Open de France Place du Capitole, Toulouse: exhibition tournament with the best French and some Europeans;
- European Club Cup: tournament between European clubs organized in a different country and city each year (Casa Padel last week);
- NPC (National Padel Cup) approved tournament which takes place in Cap d'Agde during the All Saints holidays; tournament circuits such as Padel Infinity, Head Padel Open, etc.
All these animations, tournaments (exhibitions or official) are a great success with the public, initiated or not, sensitized to the sport or not. Soon, it will allow players to train and teach the padel, without necessarily go through the State Tennis Diploma ... You can imagine, an investigation of the Swiss army knife will come on the training of coaches and players.
I will end with these words from Bernard Giudicelli, President of the FFT (Oct 18): “ 2019 will be the year padel. "
Line Meites is one of the best French players in padel. It's the voice of your live on Padel Magazine. But not only, she also hosts the column “Investigations of the Swiss Army Knife”. Every month, she will come back to a controversy or a theme that is close to her heart.