Gilles Moretton: “The city of Agde invested in tennis and it was right!”

The President of the French Tennis Federation, a former professional player, was in Agde on Tuesday, March 15, as part of a club tour of France. He praised the new CIT infrastructure.

After years of wandering around the International Tennis Center (CIT) in Cap d’Agde, there is a new dynamic. This is what you came to see.

I came here to play with Pierre Barthes and also to participate in the National Tennis Cup. For any tennis player, this is a landmark place. With the past, but above all with a bright future. The city invested in tennis, and rightly so!

This is an opportunity for you to enjoy ideal or almost ideal cooking conditions…

Thirty tennis courts by the sea, it must be said, a rarity. Everything is here, in particular the geographical location, which means that you can play outside in good conditions most of the year. This bet of Pierre Barthes, who entered the history of French tennis, turned out to be winning. The story continues, develops with a new model, the Academy of the French touch of Charles Offrey and the desire of the federation to conclude an agreement with the city of Agde. This is an award for everything that is done for tennis here.

Is the partnership you mentioned between public players such as the city of Agde or the French Tennis Federation and private players such as the French Touch Academy, is this the future?

As the president of the FFT, this does not bother me at all, on the contrary. Money should no longer be the taboo it used to be. We need the private sector, academies, projects. Together we are going to sign here (in April in Cap d’Agde, possibly with another media signature during Roland Garros, ed.) an agreement on all levels: leadership training, youth training, an important tournament in the future.

In recent years, holes in the air have appeared in the practice of tennis. What about today?

I came at the head of the federation a little over a year ago, with a difficult situation. We have been losing licenses since 2010, the financial situation with covid was not very good, sports results too, but I was quite optimistic about the future. I have found that tennis is experiencing a resurgence of interest, and I include padel tennis and beach tennis in this observation. We have been a “single product” for a long time, we have managed to diversify our offer. We went through the Covid crisis with +15% of licensees (their number is about a million, ed.), which is rare compared to other sports federations. the space of several days.

“Encouragement regarding our action”

Gilles D’Ettore, Mayor of Agde, is delayed due to a long-planned meeting at DDTM, it was Yannick Hivin, Director General of Agde City Services, who greeted Gilles Moretton on Tuesday morning along with Yannick Martinez, Director of CIT, next to him. This sports enthusiast clearly appreciated the visit of the President of the FFT.

“It’s encouraging in terms of our actions, investments made and what we want to do in the future.” According to him, the agreement, which will link the city with the federation, including through the league of Occitania and the committee of the department, will allow “position CIT as one of the main partners of Fédé in the context of its development.”

On the occasion of the visit of Gilles Moretton, we also learned that the FFT has bought the Tennis National Cup, the finals of which take place every autumn in Cap d’Agde.