THE END IS NEAR …
Framboise reflects on a hectic week in
I’m back in my room, typing away
after an event that will stay in the History books as probably one of the
best events ever produced on the Squash scene.
No, it’s not me who says it. The officials from the ESF, the WSF,
the players, everybody praises the French organisation, and among others
of course, Mr Loic Thébault, owner of the Squash L’Hermine and one
of the major conductors of the event.
know that the 100 volunteers will remember this event as long as they’ll
live," said Loic. "It was beautiful, a lot of preparation, but the result
worth it. And to the people from the squash circuit who came to me to
congratulate me on the quality of the event, I say 'this should be the
If we want to expand our sport to the next level, that’s the way to treat
the athletes who work very hard to entertain the audience."
And it was beautiful.
the final day, France caused a bit of a problem to the ESF organisation by
suggesting (strongly) that, like in all other sporting events happening on
French soil, the marker should announce the scores in both languages.
Michèle Lecomte (on the left in the photo), responsible for the
"outrageous demand" said to me:
"I don't think that it's an inadequate or out of order request. In France,
we are proud of our language, and not everybody in the audience speaks
English. If we want to develop Squash in France, it's time to democratise
the Sport, starting by the marking!"
So, for the first time in ESF history, markers announced score in French
and in English. And you know what, it worked fine!
2,000 tickets were sold for the final day, the press coverage has been
stupendous, I counted 4 TV cameras, transmitting live images on 2 giant
screens on each side of the glass court, that gave us close ups of
players, team atmosphere.
all over town, and the venue is, according to major squash officials: "the
best we ever saw"; "never saw anything like it, and I’ve been all over the
world"; "this would be a perfect venue for the World event" … and so on,
and so on.
Even the Party was perfection, although I doubt a lot of players will
remember ANY details of it. (PS, I’ve got ALL the photos of the Welsh,
English and French teams, and believe me, blackmail will be the name of
The food, the décor, the professionalism of the service, the quality of
the food, of the wines, the musical atmosphere, the room…
The list is endless.
the presentation at the end of the competition was stunning and became
very emotional when Corinne Castets, French number 3, 39 years old,
announced her retirement from the competition. Not many dry eyes in the
French crowd, team and organisation.
Peter Nicol congratulated the organisers of the event, and also "wished
France better luck next time, but not too much luck …" and mentioned
Adrian Grant for his 1st cap.
Thierry Lincou thanked Peter for the squash lesson, and said simply that
the English were just too strong today.
But "the event was magic" he said. "I never felt anything thing like the
support you gave us today ever in my life, and I thank you for it," he
concluded, talking to the crowd.
It was beautiful, especially as the cameras were giving us close-ups of
everybody’s faces, and the whole of the presentation was very emotional
Tomorrow, back to my adopted country, where I will have to learn English
all over again.
Next Saturday, the
Charity Event in Pontefract,
the next day, the
National League Final in Sheffield,
and the next day, the start of the
Super Series Finals.
Yeah, like I’m going to sleep next week …
Hectic days at L'Hermine
Spectacular venue at Liberté