PARIS, June 4, 2019 (Press Release)
The “Francophonie du Tennis,” an event celebrating French-speaking tennis held during Roland-Garros 2019, has led to the creation of the A2FT, an association of French-speaking tennis federations that aims to promote a shared vision of the development of tennis.
Tennis federations in around thirty French-speaking countries gathered on 30 May 2019 at Roland-Garros to create the Association des Fédérations Francophones de Tennis (A2FT).
The association aims to promote the educational, cultural and social values of tennis, which are shared by member federations. The development of tennis in French-speaking regions helps further educational policies, while the building and management of sporting infrastructures contributes to economic development.
On 31 May, the A2FT held its first meeting to discuss its priority activities. Focus areas include assistance to club structures, training programmes for senior staff and coaches, scouting and support for young high-level players, continental and international mobility aid for players, and the organization of tournaments in French-speaking countries.
One of its goals is to set up a tennis academy in 2021, for both African and international players, with centres in Diamniadio in Senegal and on the “Route des pêches” in Benin, between Cotonou and Ouidat. A network of clubs that have been awarded the “Roland-Garros” label will also be created. These structures will be places where everyone can practice tennis, and will offer beginner, intermediate and advanced coaching, talent scouting. They will also be social hubs offering cultural, educational and health services. Establishing a network will foster cooperation, mobility and the sharing of best practices.
Daniel Chausse, Vice-President of the French Tennis Federation, was chosen to chair the organization. The Secretary General will be Aziz Laaraf, who is also the Vice-President of the Royal Moroccan Tennis Federation. René Stammbach, President of Swiss Tennis, has been named the A2FT’s Treasurer. Mohamed Traore, President of the Mali Tennis Federation, and Alain Sayegh, Secretary General of the Lebanese Tennis Federation, will be the organization’s Vice-Presidents.
These events were organized under the patronage of the Secretary General of the International Organization of La Francophonie. They included an evening event on 30 May, which involved 200 decision-makers from political, economic, institutional, sporting and cultural circles. There was also a musical performance by Manu Dibango and guests – Souad Massi, Flavia Coelho, Ray Lema, Fabrice Di Falco, Passi, Sangho and Blick Bassy – introduced by Claudy Siar, who presents the “Couleurs Tropicales” show on Radio France Internationale (RFI). This evening helped highlight the close ties between sport and culture.