|GOOD AND BAD THINGS
During this event, some good things:
The transport organisation was
fantastic, orchestrated by Laurent. Never had to wait more than
10 minutes for a shuttle.
- The press coverage. Absolutely
amazing (Lincou was surrounded by 3 TV cameras, about 6 professional
photographers, and quite a lot just working for the organisation), the
newspaper articles are numerous and large, the French equivalent to ITV
news at 10 is showing a report on Saturday evening, never heard of in
France, etc., all that due to Pauline Filet’s effort, expertise
Sam, the ball cleaner, who
actually sprays the white ball with a special product and rubs it with a
cloth between every game.
- The crowd that turned up in
masses (even at 10am on Friday morning, to see the English ladies thrash
- The perfect food organisation:
hot meals and salads, always ready, served until at least 11pm. With a
- The beauty of the glass court.
Perfect vision, perfectly lighted, perfectly cleaned. Absolutely
- Broadband internet connection
for the press, and for the computer in the main entrance for all the
43 referees from all over
Europe, all working side to side, well actually, most of the time back
to back, and no complains from the players so far…
- The general kindness of the
whole of the French volunteers and organisers. They don’t know what to
do to help you and make your day the best possible.
Some bad things.
- The 2 venues where the final stage are
played are very far away from each other. So you must miss some
important matches. I was told it couldn’t be helped. But sad anyway.
- One unpleasant, rude and pretty full of
himself member of the French Organisation. I know, I can hear you, “only
one?” You cheeky thing…
- No phone or fax machine in the press room,
making my liaison with my webmaster quite difficult at times.
- The colour of the floor of the
glass court. A pale blue, that seemed to disturb some players, as the
white ball doesn’t stand out as much as on a blue flooring.
- The sound of the front wall that
led several players (and referees) to be unsure if drop shot or boast
was actually up or not up.
When I arrived in Rennes, I realised I forgot the cable between my camera
and laptop. Big problem.
So Super Cécile, the driver who picked me up from the station,
drove me all around town to find one.
Then I was out of batteries, and needed to recharge the units of my French
mobile (as there were no phones in the press room), but didn’t have the
locomotion (or the time) to go and buy some.
Super Pauline Filet sorted the problem. Bless.
Then my pen died as I was covering an English match, a French volunteer
gave me his.
The next day, that pen died, so a French photographer gave me his.
And finally, during the Ladies England semis, it’s actually David
Pearson who saved the day, as the pen had died again!
Of course, you haven’t forgotten that a Danish ref sorted my
But the crown goes to… Super Vincent, a French photographer, who
really saved my life.
As you’ve now seen, I got some precious photos from
Mr, Mrs and Baby
Arriving in the office, I accidentally erased all the day’s photos out of
the memory card.
I was about to commit suicide, when that adorable cute man said “don’t
worry, I’ve got some software that will get them back for you.”
It took 15 agonising minutes, but he got them back.
So many people helped me on this trip, it’s amazing.
Thanks to all.
But overall, a fantastic
organisation, for a small club, a small town, a French Federation
with little financial means - especially as today is the 1st May, and
that in France, where this date is like a bank holiday, EVERYBODY is PAID DOUBLE! (that's only people
outside the organisation, like waiters, drivers, security - most people
here are volunteers, of course).
The French can be
proud of themselves.
Today, if France wins the 3rd place against Belgium for the
Ladies, it will be really good.
And if the Men ...