Valerie Touchain President of the Bailly Noisy Tennis Club, tells us about his atypical story which begins in Cameroon, his unwavering link with tennis but also his experience and his opinion on the evolution of tennis and the latest addition: Padel.
Yaoundé Tennis Club: My second family
I discovered tennis as a teenager in Cameroon at the Yaoundé Tennis Club run by Marie -Claire and Zacharie NOAH.
I spent my days at the club even when I wasn't playing! It was my second family.
When I returned to France, I did not find this atmosphere, this sharing.
So I did not take up tennis again but I discovered squash; I played as a team for a club in eastern France and then the detours of life made me quit as well, having other priorities.
I came back to tennis with my eldest daughter who joined the TCBN tennis school at 5; and then everything happened: vice-president for 4 years then president of TCBN for 20 years and still full of projects in the head to see this club grow that I have in “catheter”.
From tennis to padel
The municipalities of Noisy le Roi and Bailly are twinned with Godella, a town in Spain on the outskirts of Valence.
For several years, via the twinning committee, we have organized exchanges with young people from the TCBN and those from the Godella tennis club; we would go for a week for the All Saints holidays with about fifteen young people from TCBN and in return we would receive the young people from the Godella tennis club in April / May.
So it was in Godella that I discovered padel and the young people spent a lot of time on the padel tracks. They were having fun… and the adults too!
The padel being attached to the FFT, the town halls followed my request for a project to create 2 padel while tennis, at club level, was in a period of exhaustion.
Diversification: an alternative
The diversification of the offer proposed within the club seemed to me an essential alternative to revitalize the club.
With the investment of town halls and financial assistance from the FFT, in November 2018 padel was born at TCBN and it is growing.
The club also benefits from a very unifying and extremely motivated element in the person of Yann AURADOU, DE and player, who has carte blanche for the development and development of padel within the Club.
The padel boosts
I am emotional and emotional: we had a padel event - P250 this weekend incredible with very tough matches and an atmosphere that brings back memories.
It was a great pleasure to live this tournament with the padel filled from morning to night and to share these sporting moments after this Covid period which has changed our daily life and our sporting practice.
The daily life of the presidency of a sports association goes through ups and downs: also when you have the chance that your club, after a period of nothingness, lives such a weekend, then yes, I am definitely boosted for the future and I project myself with enthusiasm and passion for the TCBN to grow at all levels.
Padel skeptical to padel addict
Tennis is a traditional sport that has been running out of steam for a few years, even if this season (before Covid) was promising.
In my opinion, tennis faces strong competition from “immediate effect” sports: running, triathlon, fitness…
Societal evolution has gone through this with a new approach to sports practice and competition; this must be taken into account: “sporty click & play” is a recipe for success.
Padel is in this spirit: fun, friendly, accessible to all; padel has undeniable qualities and we quickly go from “skeptical padel to addict padel”. I bet on it.
Padel: anything but the enemy of tennis
Padel in France is in its infancy and, in my opinion, it has a bright future. It is anything but the enemy of tennis: it is an additional asset in our sports offer; through his practice in doubles, he creates social links, he brings back the pleasure of play.
With the padel, I relive the tennis years of 20 years ago… The spirit of the “padel community” is very present.
Over time, this link has diluted in tennis but it has gradually returned with the FFT's awareness of this dilution over the past 3 years and the actions taken to remedy it: the evolution of tennis must be centered on new on the pleasure of play and promote access to recreational and easily accessible competition. The creation of free matches is part of this new sporting dynamic.
Rediscover the tennis passion
- the tennis galaxy which succeeds the traditional tennis school,
- free matches for young people and now adults,
- federal digital deployment via TEN'Up, among others,
A 4-year TCBN development plan
- renovation of the club house,
- third padel are on the program,
Continue to make my contribution in tennis
Personally: member of the Superior Tennis Council of the FFT for more than 3 years, I wish to continue to make my contribution for the A & G24 list with our current president, Mr. Bernard Giudicelli, as head of the list.
After the experience of these 3 years of federal mandate, I have the deep conviction, certainty, that this unparalleled federal sports project, this competent, united team and this visionary president are the only winning trilogy for the future of French tennis and international.
Concerning the TCBN, this club will always be the cornerstone of my associative and federal commitment and I will put all my energy and my determination as a volunteer leader to support the TCBN towards its future.
Progressing in padel is also one of my personal goals and why not reconnect with competition. The sporting and festive spirit of this weekend made me want to play again: I am lucky to have a passionate teacher at the club who is motivated for this challenge; but I will always continue to play tennis, my weekly meeting on the field with my friends is sacred!
Tennis and padel: the winning formula!
Padel is the brother of tennis! cohabitation is subordinated to a desire to move forward, to be innovative, and to offer practitioners and licensees the choice of practicing within the club of their choice the pleasure of “kicking the ball” on a tennis or padel court.
The diversity of the offer of practice in the clubs is the oxygen of their development. The infrastructures are the mirror of the clubs but the heart is the animation: "to animate is to develop" is my motto with the mission also to allow the practice for all and all of tennis and padel.
Photo credit: Aurélie Logeais
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.