Dear Claudia, congratulations on the election as President of Swiss Padel, the Swiss Padel Association. What motivates you to volunteer for this sport?
Thank you. When I discovered Padel 2.5 years ago, I just wanted to play Padel regularly. That I ended up joining Swiss Padel is thanks to the fact that I like to get actively involved in projects I believe in. Especially in Padel, there is is so much we can do and achieve. It matches my motto: “The world is your oyster”.
My Motivation is driven by the feedback of players as well as the Padel clubs and centres all over Switzerland. I am happy when they are satisfied with the development of the association.
My new task is surely a huge challenge and my predecessors set the benchmark high. Fortunately, I am in the great situation where I have other strong personalities in the association and with Michelle a great Vice-President with a lot of experience.
How does Padel in Switzerland differ from this sport in other countries?
Padel is still in its infancy in Switzerland. There are countries such as Spain who have already known this sport for a long time and where this sport is established.
In other countries, Padel is also booming in regions. One has to have a little patience here. Having said that, I have no doubt that in a few years Padel will also have a breakthrough in Switzerland! Surely, we can learn from the development in other countries and we try to introduce the best bits to our organisation.
What are the goals that you want to achieve with Swiss Padel?
For this year, we have set ourselves the main goal of making the tournaments more attractive by introducing more than one category. Personally, I would particularly like to see more women participate in the tournaments.
We also try to push or support by organising international events. Last year we held the world championship qualification for category men in Frenkendorf where Austria, France, Monaco and Switzerland fought for a ticket to the WM in Lisbon. This year we were pleased that one club pushed for a FIP 250 tournament where players not only win Swiss ranking points but also international points.
Speaking of international tournaments, surely we want to attend this year European championship again with a male and female team. With HEAD, med&motion and weblink we have also strong partners who help us on our way.
A further goal is a more intensive cooperation with our members, sponsors and other stakeholders. We try to achieve this by strengthen our communication. Surely, we try in general to improve in each department and become more professional. Therefore, the input from the International Padel Federation, the clubs, centres and the players plays a key element. Having said that, we cannot make everything happen short-term. We need to think and plan many things long-term.
Where do you see the greatest challenges to achieve these goals?
Achieving our goals involves hard and time-consuming work. Since it is an honorary hobby for all board members, there is always a conflict of time.
Why should a club or centre join the association? What is in for them?
As a member of the association, they become part of a network in which they can share valuable experiences on Padel in Switzerland among each other. Our members also have their right to speak at the annual delegation meeting and can thus influence the national development of the sport.
For our members it is also attractive that they can organise two official “Swiss Padel” tournament weekends each year where ranking-relevant games are being played. Finally yet importantly, the location of our members is published on the homepage, so that interested players can find their courts easily.
Best thanks for the information! Is there anything else you want to mention?
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the players, clubs and centres in Switzerland, our sponsors, the international Padel federation FIP and the active and former board members of Swiss Padel. Only together will we be able to achieve a breakthrough with Padel in Switzerland.
Of course, I will also be part of the tournaments in the 2017 season and I am looking forward to seeing many old as well as new faces.