This title, I grant you, is ambiguous and contradictory ... But after wishing you a happy new year and expressing my impatience to all of you find on the slopes, we must admit that the weather lasts and that the news both dramatically health in general and "futile" paddle tennis in particular regularly blows hot and cold, causes hope and despair ...
Once again I would start by evoking the situation of our padel clubs always deprived of their raison d'être and of sustenance: We, the players. It was as much to suspect as to fear, the first announcements of final closure have fallen, mowing down promising and committed projects in full flight.
Faced with this economic disaster, there are indeed two categories of padel clubs: those backed by a large group and / or with solid and resilient investors, often owners of their own walls, and the others, just as passionate and voluntary but who, faced with the columns of compulsory expenditure, do not have much to to register. For them, the hopes of reopening are equal to the despair that the loss of their working tool would be, often the project of a lifetime ...
And there are hopes! in the first place is a highly anticipated technical innovation: the protective mask for athletes in general and tennis players and padeleros in particular.
If all the brands that are currently positioned on this product necessarily have essentially mercantile intentions in the face of the financial windfall that would result from being the first to mass market this type of mask, we must, potential customers but above all, frustrated athletes in seize the providential omen that this represents.
The main reason for the closure of our indoor clubs, despite already draconian health measures to which all players in our sport strongly subscribed, was the impossibility of wearing a protective mask during our practice. Once this obstacle is lifted, negotiations for a reopening will inevitably be facilitated. The enthusiasm generated by the recent announcements of the successful passage of AFNOR standards of several prototypes must still be moderated by two factors:
- First, there are inevitably incompressible delays between prototype and mass marketing and the first models do not seem to be suitable indoor racquet sports.
- Second, the masks that would allow the reopening of theaters already exist, and yet ...
On the positive side, it should still be noted that experiments with the return of the public to the stadiums are in the process of being decided.
Despair but hopes….
Another event that may be a bearer of hope and its opposite in the news of Padel players: the election of Gilles Moretton at the head of our federation supervisory authority: The French Tennis Federation.
At the end of a campaign where the team of outgoing president Bernard Giudicelli will have dragged an image deficit like a ball, being considered as gravedigger of the Davis Cup in particular, it is the Lyonnais and former high-level tennis player who will have been able to ride on his promises of renewal and break with the previous team.
Demagogy or real virtues?
If only the future will tell us with certainty, it is possible to note that this campaign recipe had already allowed the new president of the FFT, a first victory over the “clan” Giudicelli during the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes league elections. 3 years ago. And in a very objective way, you have to note that in terms of padel, the league's governing bodies were not the driving force behind anything, or even worse: only two meetings of the padel commission whose various officials named successively, although motivated, did not know anything about our sport, no gathering of young people and absence from the French junior championships, no communication or development action, no allocated budget and contemptuous statements. The padel will have been neglected to say the least, considered a pebble in the shoe at worst ...
Nevertheless, the declarations of intent were promising and able to provide real solutions to the problems of our growing sport: hopes ?
However, if all the deputy vice-chairmen have been appointed with clearly identified tennis missions which will occupy them full-time, the padel still does not know its elected official for the next 4 years who will succeed Hubert Picquier. It is to be feared that for the one who will be responsible for it, this will only be an ancillary function in addition to his or her responsibilities already assigned for tennis: despair !
I would surely have the opportunity here in the future to recognize that these fears were unfounded. And the sooner the better!
Finally, it is impossible for me to finish this post without a nod to our French number 1: Alix collombon. It also generated hope and despair for its start to the season! By winning the first tournament of the season with her new teammate Jessica Castello, hopes of seeing her take a new step forward in her progression are at their highest!
But and despair will you tell me with reason? So ask all their opponents for the week for their opinion, who will soon find them on the slopes of the World Padel Tour...
"Hope is contagious, so is despair" (anonymous quote)
So let's stay positive and see you soon on the slopes!
Jérôme Becasset,enlightened amateur, in theory ...