BNP Paribas, the New Sponsor of Fête le Mur (1)(a non-profit organisation founded by Yannick Noah) to promote social cohesion in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

(1) A play on words in French that means both Celebrate the Wall and Practice on the Wall.

BNP Paribas will sponsor the non-profit organisation Fête le Mur that uses sports to promote social cohesion in underprivileged neighbourhoods. Michel Pébereau, President of BNP Paribas, and Yannick Noah, President of Fête le Mur signed a sponsorship agreement under the terms of which the bank will give a total of 1.2 million Francs to the organization over 4 years (2001-2004).

Fête le Mur was set up with two missions: to promote social integration and to help people find jobs. The organization offers youth from low socio-economic neighbourhoods the opportunity to play tennis and give those who are most motivate the chance to become members of French Tennis Federation affiliated tennis clubs. It also trains young athletes from the same communities aged 20 to 25, called "big brothers", enabling them to qualify as tennis instructors, and helps them find gainful employment as part of a jobs creation program with local private partners.

Founded in 1996 by Yannick Noah, the non-profit organization Fête le Mur now has 18 locations in France and 2 in Belgium. With a minimum of two tennis courts and a wall for practice, each site has around a hundred teenagers who receive quality instruction from state-certified tennis instructors, assisted by educators. This year, BNP Paribas will sponsor the second national tennis tournament will be held, which is open to all the sites. The organization would like go even further, opening new locations and setting up a tennis academy to train talented young players.

BNP Paribas has chosen to sponsor this unique and valuable initiative, which is in line with its global action to combat exclusion, while affirming its role as a leading sponsor of tennis. The Group sponsors major international tennis events (The French Open, Davis Cup Tennis, the Paris Bercy Masters Tennis Tournament, the International Women's Tennis Tournaments in Nice and Strasbourg), and also provides sponsorship support to nearly 200 local tournaments throughout France and community tennis schools in conjunction with the French Tennis Federation.

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