Toulouse. The little yellow ball in search of another audience

the essential
After Bordeaux-Mérignac and Aix-en-Provence, the Urban Tennis Tour stopped off in Toulouse to attract the youngest in particular who have never played in a club.

“Tennis still has, for some, an image of an elitist sport. This Urban Tennis Tour is a good opportunity to activate the opposite.” Wednesday morning, from 9 a.m., in the Carrefour Purpan car park, we quickly felt a heat wave. Not the ideal time, necessary, to hope to gather hundreds of curious people. But Florian Lecerf, manager of the Urban Tennis Tour within the FFT, still kept smiling: “Initially, the program was scheduled between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. But given the weather conditions, we had to shorten the duration of the operation to leave from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., in an outdoor space of around 400 m2. Nevertheless, the motivation is there. Urban Tennis is played on a 6 x 12 meter court, with 21″ rackets and a foam ball. This discipline is fun and also offers the possibility of playing with street furniture. Urban Tennis was launched last May, on the Roland-Garros site, with the sponsor Yannick Noah. It’s open to everyone. But our priority target is obviously the youngest, and especially those who have not yet crossed the door of a tennis club.”

Next year at Place du Capitole?

Despite the strong heat, visitors were ready to play. “I have already played tennis. But after hitting a few balls here, it clearly makes me want to get back to it”, named Béatrice, 34 years old. Note that demonstrations of skateboarding and rollerblading have been offered. “Urban Tennis is a free practice that can be played anywhere,” said Florian Lecerf. The FFT thus has the ambition to develop this discipline in order to better respond to new societal challenges such as inclusion and diversity, as well as new consumption patterns (accessibility, urban space).

Before the Pink City, Bordeaux-Mérignac (July 2) and Aix-en-Provence (July 9) had launched the festivities of this Urban Tennis Tour. Tomorrow, Nice Lingostière will take over. Then, on July 20, Chambourcy will complete the 2022 edition. As for next year, Audrey Moronval, development advisor within the Ligue Occitanie, submitted an idea. “Why not offer the Urban Tennis Tour on the Place du Capitole?” she suggested. Daring bet.

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