Mini-tennis courts on the Esplanade de la Major

VSThis introduction to tennis was so cool, it’s a great idea », is experimenting with Inès, Alya and Marley, from the Carmes social center (2e). Forehands and backhands are in order this summer on the Jean-Paul-II esplanade. Two mini-tennis courts are installed on the cobblestones of the forecourt of the cathedral of La Major, every Wednesday and Saturday, until August 24. Studs, tongues to compose the limits of the field and two portable nets are enough. This morning, a group of 25 children from the Carmes social entertainment and leisure center is testing the activity. The warm-up, organized by Marcel Rodriguez, 20 years old and tennis coach, allows the kids to warm up before getting down to business. ” Several activities are proposed for the 45 minutes of initiation, team or individual games », emphasizes the sports animator. The children’s favorite game is the to touch is to win »which consists of taking the volley ball to the net and aiming for an area with prizes to be won.

These mobile playgrounds are the result of a partnership between the local association Penja and Fête le Mur, founded by Yannick Noah in 1996. Anne Ngaka, president of the first, says: The shortage of tennis courts in Marseille should not be a hindrance for our young people who need to learn new sports. Urban tennis, she continues, it’s almost unheard of. We wanted to innovate. »

“Tennis is considered too expensive…”

This collaboration aims to educate and integrate children from priority neighborhoods through sport. Abdou, animator of the Carmes center, is delighted with this tennis practice: In the city, they are used to playing football or basketball. Tennis is too expensive for many, but this is great. » The two sites are open, the rest of the time, to the most curious. The Penja association also tends to help Ukrainian refugees, the latter are invited to come and take advantage of the facilities throughout the summer.

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