Since its entry into the bosom of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) in 2014, padel has been a growing discipline… but not fast enough.
Supposed to be the secret weapon to counter a certain lack of interest in the yellow ball in France, this racquet sport, born in Mexico and popularized in Spain, has not yet experienced the hoped-for boom.
“Maybe we delayed a bit, while it is a success elsewhere, slips Gilles Moretton, president of the FFT, who wants to make France one of the strongholds of padel.
It is an accessible sport, simpler and easier than tennis, with immediate pleasure, conviviality and social connection
(Editor's note: it is played in doubles)
These are all the strong values that we want to highlight.
We do not believe that padel can weaken tennis, but on the contrary that it can help it.
On the proposal of the President of the French Tennis Federation, @g_moretton, and in consultation with @arnaudclement, Vice-President for high level, integrating the development of the DTN, the Executive Committee appoints @ArnaudPasquale Director of the Padel mission.
- FFT (@FFTennis) March 29, 2021
To give a second breath to the development of the discipline, Arnaud Di Pasquale, 42, has been appointed director of padel at the FFT, as she announced in a tweet on Monday.
Former Olympic bronze medalist and national technical director (DTN) from 2013 to 2017, he himself is one of the fervent fans of the racket with holes, like his friend Arnaud Clément, vice-president of the FFT, in charge of the high level , training and competition.
"We are in a pivotal period"
“For seven years, there have been actions taken, money invested and a rather disappointing observation, loose Arnaud Clément.
It generated disappointment and frustration.
We are in a pivotal period when things are exploding in many countries
(Editor's note: between 16 and 18 million practitioners in the world)
and not enough at home.
Who is Louis Borfiga, the new brains of French tennis?
“So, we defined an action plan in four ambitious and realistic axes, details Di Pasquale.
First, the creation of a specific padel license, to identify our audiences and have recognition of the discipline
(Editor's note: there are approximately 11,200 competitors listed in France, 25,000 registered on the federal app, 110,000 regular practitioners and 838 courts to date)
Second, we want to become international leaders, by increasing our visibility and the number of competitions in the territory.
Third, we want to federate all clubs, FFT affiliates or private, and set up subsidies for all.
Finally, training and education must be developed.
We have deficiencies among young people and women, which is abnormal.
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The International Padel Federation follows with attention and interest the tricolor ambitions.
"France is a guide country for everyone," explains its president, the Italian Luigi Carraro.
If it wants to invest more, all the other countries will benefit.
It will play a fundamental role in international development.