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: cloakrooms; bar; often on-site catering possible (troubleshooting or real chef in the kitchen)||No charges: the city owns the premises. Sometimes clubs must "pay" 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" proposed: entertainment, evening or day, tournaments, catering, often 1 or 2 short 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 parties (especially in "peak 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|
Specifications P1000 men: minimum 3 terrain, with ceiling height of 7m minimum. For women, these are 2 minimum pitches with same height.
All for one ... or each for oneself?
I think that to answer that question, you have to ask it differently. What are the values that this sport conveys, straight from Spanish-speaking countries? What can make the padel 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 is that the spirit was, certainly, rough on the ground, but very warm and friendly outside. It reminded me of the team tennis matches ... of the time! (yes I am old).
Of course everything was not rosy, we remain human beings above all! But it was overall nice. I found in the clubs that I attended parties pleasant to share parts and good times; I participated in tournaments where, outside of games, we shared a drink with those who passed, regardless of levels.
This is what seems to me the recipe for the success and development of the padel, and a club: welcoming people in a suitable place: cloakroom, bar and sometimes possible restoration; create animations; offer leisure tournaments: various formulas have proved their worth ... all you have to do is check with the clubs that are working well; organize sanctioned tournaments; find or replace a player when there is an absent player on a game; offer quality courses; broadcast matches of major sports competitions for customers; to diversify its offer with the possibility of taking courses from external speakers, or even to practice other sports within the club grounds; initiate business seminars or team-building, etc.
In short create, propose, work to make everyone feel at home by coming to the club ... at any time of the day or night! So of course it's work, a lot of work and today the times are hard for these structures, which are crumbling under the loads and desires of the people. But the key to success comes through ... 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 appropriate structures, which meet the ever greater needs and expectations of the public. It is here, among others, that the FFT needs private structures ... and that the "All for one" is preferable to "Everyone for himself" ...
What about the competition?
Most departmental or regional competitions are played in private clubs. Why ? They are often the only ones to propose a sufficient number of courts and ancillary services to receive this kind of competitions and to answer the 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 of this should change in the years to come. The FFT now wants to be the only true representative for the development of Padel in France, and has decided to work in this direction, by freeing up significant funds for future years with, in addition, the FFT PADEL TOUR. (and Le My Padel Tower)
There are also "itinerant" private 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 of Bernard Giudicelli, President of the FFT (Oct 18): " 2019 will be the year padel. "
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.