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• French Open Junior • Lille • du 16 au 19 février 2012 •  

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All about the French Junior Open you didn't know you needed to know...

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD...

As Fiona Geaves mentionned, we French normally have a little talent for "la joie de vivre", as in, food, clothes, and other things I cannot decently put down as this is a junior tournament...

And the cattering here has been faultless really. Food served from 11h30 to 15h, then from 18h00 to 21h, later if matches are still going on. And if you prefer, you have a counter that does excellent "fast food", but French style, as in... well... good!

The Cattering team has been on the ball, food is varied, always warm and adapted to the nations we have here!

For example, I was surprised to see sausages, as we have a lot of Egyptian kids, but then again, they were chicken ones! Bless....

They even have a pop corn machine that has been extremely popular with the kids - and the others too - and if last year, I was told that it was a bit chilly (the tent has been placed on the parking of the club, outside, well this year, a large and powerful eater is doing the job nicely...

In other words, it's not on that tournament that I'll lose weight... 

 

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All about the French Junior Open you didn't know you needed to know...

TUB... NOT THE BATH, THE CLUB!

About 5m drive away from the main Wam club, we have a lovely "club municipal", as in a club run by the town hall, normally those clubs are "cheap and chearful", and run by .

They used to have only 2 courts, but now they proudly line 4 courts. OK, not the same style than the Wam, but honestly, you feel how proud they are of their club, and how excited also about participating to the French Junior Open.

Seating have been put up, posters everywhere, all ready and roaring, thanks to the help passionates like Bruno, Nicolas et Patrick....

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All about the French Junior Open you didn't know you needed to know...

WAM, NICE, WAM...

Would you believe this is my first time ever in Lille. I don't mean to the French Junior Open - last time I covered it was in Marseille actually - I mean, Lille, ever.

Well, let's not go overboard, I can't exactly say that I have now seen Lille, mind. I saw the train station - Lille Flandres - which is in the centre of town, at exactly 1h01 from Paris - and not Lille Europe - which is for the Eurostar trains. And that was it!

Lovely Marco Palmieri along with physio Charlotte Delsinne - former French Junior, now playing only for recreation, picked me up from the station in one of the many shuttles that the organisation is providing, and took me to the Wam Club.

Really nice club. Not exactly at the centre of Lille. It's in the suburb, right off "the Rocade", a fast route to get to Tourcoing.



And the club itself is vast, with the courts perfectly aligned around the bar/restaurant area, which means that you can basically watch squash from any position within the club itself. Love it.

The tournament desk is as you come in to the right, and the tournament office is a bit out of the way, quieter, except on the first day, of course, as it was there that  Jean-Claude Cayzac was registering the participants.

As JC doesn't speak much English, bless him, and that most of the players don't really know French apart from Croissant, Baguette, and Un taxi please, we had some funny moments, where I tried and help, or just stupidly, enjoyed JC's desperate attempts to speak Shakespeare lingo. Entertaining times... For me anyway!!!!!

As you may have noticed, this tournament is dedicated to Michèle Lecomte, who passed away in July, as the Junior World Championship was about to start in Herentals. Quite symbolic as Michèle fought all her life to support and develop Junior Squash in France.

The French Junior Open was her dream, her life's work. And her soul is floating all around here. Fred, her husband, picked up the Flamme, and is carying it on, as she wanted it. Here, nobody talks about her really. No one dares.

Too many emotions.
  



Remembering Michèle,
by Patrick le Fur
Normandie League

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