Grenoble Tennis Padel is a historic tennis club. But at the end of 2019, with the arrival of Vincent Berlandis, the club wishes to develop in a new discipline. It was at this precise moment that the idea of the tracks of padel see the day.
Since then, this Isère club has continued to increase its offering padel. Last September, the first men's P1000 was organized on the outdoor grounds. Two months later, it was the players' turn to have their first P1000, this time indoors.
The opportunity for Padel Magazine to meet Vincent Berlandis, president of Grenoble Tennis Padel. At the microphone of Line Meites, he returns to the development of padel in his club and his future ambitions.
The arrival of padel at Grenoble Tennis Padel
When I took over management of the club, at the end of 2019, beginning of 2020, it was a club which had a lot of potential and which had just acquired a large structure. We have around twenty tennis courts, with two surfaces. We also have two big professional tournaments each year, men and women, and an academy for the high level.
So, at the time of Covid, I gave myself a year to think about a development plan. I felt the structure was not being used to its maximum potential. We also had volunteer leaders over 85 years old who might be a little less in tune with current trends... And we also had to revitalize the team. So we imagined a project, around padel finally.
At the time, the padel had already started to establish itself even if it was not the boom we are currently experiencing. And in 2020, when all the tennis clubs wanted one or two courts, I said to myself that we had to go a little further… So we built these seven tracks of padel, four interior and three exterior.
The response of Grenoblois
This allows us to have an offer all season long, to offer training… On the one hand we have the sale of sports slots since the padel, it brings together a lot of people who play for leisure. And on the other, we wanted to go a little further by offering players technical progress.
Finally, the entire Grenoble public, especially the players who were into the hobby, completely responded to this desire to train and progress. P250 players who wanted to do some training and physical preparation. Today, we are proposing this because we remain a federal club, and that teaching really remains in our roots.
Le padel brought new life, new freshness. People stay, experience the club... People come to have a drink, to share, to play cards, so it's extraordinary.
Hosting big events
The club is really set up to host big events, so we immediately said to ourselves that we wanted to put Grenoble on the French map of padel. We applied very quickly to organize big tournaments. We already know that there will be another Men's P1000, in May 2024, and one of four P1500 ladies, which will also take place in the spring.
For the time being, we have very good feedback because we have a very good welcoming culture. We try to pull out all the stops and welcome the players as we do on a challenger female. We want to show that the padel can become professional, that we can have quality tournaments, with a level of service that is important.
We somewhat reproduced what we did for a women's tennis tournament, which still has a rather international standard. It gives a quality of offer which is quite interesting. We really wanted to pull out all the stops and show that this site is capable of hosting major events padel.
What about tomorrow?
The rest is simple. Already, having seven tracks, between September and October, when the weather was good, we were saturated. Now that the weather is starting to get a little worse, we only have three indoor tracks, where the time to book has increased to three and a half weeks. We are at 100% occupancy rate, the club is overflowing. We have 4.500 people who downloaded our application.
So we are actually going to take a little more interest in padel. We still have a little room, even if it will perhaps be a little to the detriment of tennis. Maybe we'll come and cover the outdoor courts. We don't yet have the solution, we are also arriving in a year where we need to consolidate a little what we have done.
obviously, le padel will continue to evolve at Grenoble Tennis Padel. Today, tennis clubs that only have 2-3 tracks are very late. In the private sector, we have really big projects with 10-14 plots of land. And then, we have FFT clubs which go a little more slowly. So yes, these are expensive projects but the return on investment is significant.
With padel, we welcome a charming population, with many “old hands”, but we also have a young, dynamic clientele: this allows us to create a meeting place. Le padel is a real opportunity for the clubs.
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.