By Philippe Beaufils
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50 years is something to celebrate!
The president of the table tennis section of ES Arques Yohan Hennequin and the historian Christian Vassard hope to obtain many licensees, today and yesterday, on Saturday December 3 in the Jean-Marie Lepront hall.
Their club will indeed experience a special event that day.
A double birthday for a pivotal year in the club’s history.
This is in 1972 that ES Arques now returns to competition.
However, by digging a little, we find traces of table tennis activities during the 1946-1947 season and a little later from 1953 to 1957.
Champion from the 1st year
However it is really in 1972 that will take place the first real official season of ES Arques.
Christian Vassard was already at the party
I worked at Cellophane and with other employees, we relaunched the club in competition by affiliating it to the French Table Tennis Federation. Yves Batel was president, Adrien Madic secretary and Gérard Clavier treasurer. The training sessions were provided by Christian Koch, a teacher, in the premises which we still use today.
From the first year, the club is sacred champion of Haute-Normandie in departmental 4.
At the end of the season, an internal tournament is created.
It is endowed by Henri Rappin and will take his name when the latter leaves the region for professional reasons.
The Arquais club will develop under the presidency ofYves Batel which lasted until 1985.
It is replaced by Jean-Marie Lepront who will, alas, only one year at the head of the club tragically disappearing in a traffic accident.
Also, the room will bear his name a few months later and it is still the case today.
Jean Claude Bara took the reins of the club in 1987 for a long lease since he decided to take a step back in 2020.
He found his successor in the person of Yohan Hennequin happy to be able to offer this 50th anniversary after having lived through a more delicate period marked by the Covid.
In Regional 2 three years
On the sporting level, ES Arques has experienced ups and downs over these 50 years, the divisions not being all comparable according to the eras.
In Regional 3 in 1976, the Arquais found themselves for a time at the departmental level before returning to the Norman level.
In R4, then in R3 and even in R2, the highest level reached to stay there for three seasons.
During the 2001-2002 season, ES Arques had two teams at regional level for the first time.
Unfortunately, this will be short-lived.
Today, the club’s flag team evolves in D1 and the reserve in D3.
There is currently 42 licensesyoung people and adults, who practice in competition or leisure, without forgetting licensees who are people with disabilities.
According to President Yohan Hennequin, the results are satisfactory
However, the objective remains maintenance for both teams because we do not have the manpower to aim higher. We regret the fact that we have few women (only one!) and few young people and we want this anniversary to be the talk of the club to draw from it.
As to Rappin Challenge, he continues to bring together the club’s licensees every Ascension Thursday.
A tournament that is both serious and disputed in a friendly atmosphere.
On Saturday December 3, ES Arques graduates, young and old, are therefore invited to join the Jean-Marie Lepront room from 2 p.m.
An exhibition relating the history of the club and the Rappin challenge will be offered to the public while tables will also be available to exchange a few balls.
At 6 p.m., before the glass of friendship which will take on its full meaning, the new club logo will be permanently removed, the licensees being brought to wear it on their outfits during future competitions.
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