• Tennis

Roland-Garros 2021: BNP Paribas gets the ball rolling with young people

The French Open is an emblematic sporting tournament and the imminent reopening of the doors of Roland-Garros also marks the gradual return to an - almost - normal life. And for this 2021 edition, BNP Paribas is targeting 18-25-year old, who have been particularly affected by the health crisis. As a long-standing sponsor of tennis and an active player in youth inclusion, the Group will be reaffirming these two commitments during the French Open. Game, set and match for young people from 24 May to 13 June.

The health crisis has had a severe impact on young people, leaving them with no visibility over their short and medium-term future. As the lock-down and curfew reduced the number of student jobs available, many students were forced to change or even abandon their plans. From the start of the health crisis, BNP Paribas has been working to support the younger generation by rolling out numerous initiatives, particularly in the areas of equal opportunities, inclusion, education and access to culture. During the French Open, BNP Paribas is continuing its support for young people by inviting them to take part in the fortnight's events, which are open to a reduced number of spectators, and by offering them new experiences during the tournament.

1,000 seats and 5,000 licenses up for grabs: BNP Paribas opens the doors of Roland-Garros to young people  

This year, more than ever, major sporting events are reviving the notion of collectiveness and solidarity. With this in mind, BNP Paribas has devised a special programme for young people at the 2021 French Open. It starts with accessibility, with 1,000 places offered in priority to young people from the Group's partner schools and tennis clubs and associations supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation such as those of Projet Banlieues, Odyssée Jeunes, Proxité, e2c, L'Ascenseur and Fête le Mur, as well as young people registered on the platform "We Are Tennis" by BNP Paribas. 

On the programme: an exceptional day at the site including a visit to the stadium, matches in the stands and unforgettable meetings with emblematic people from the world of tennis. 

"Place aux sourires": young people and their heroes, an in-depth exchange

Who better than those who have already achieved success can pass on their passion and energy to young people? Convinced of the value of dialogue and setting an example, BNP Paribas has invited six people who are accomplished in their respective fields to attend the tournament and meet young people who have chosen to follow in their footsteps. Ambassadors who have accepted our invitation: Laure Manaudou (swimming), Tatiana Golovin (tennis), Fauve Hautot (dance), Richard Orlinski (arts), Juan Arbelaez (cooking) and Arnaud Ducret (cinema). They'll spend a day at the French Open in the company of students from schools of their choice or from the Group's partner schools and associations supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation to give them a unique experience and show them that they should believe in their dreams, whatever the circumstances. 

BNP Paribas Young Talent Team honoured on the courts and on the screen

Young people in the stands but also on the famous clay courts. Several members of BNP Paribas Young Talent Team - a programme launched by BNP Paribas in 2018 that supports 20 young French tennis hopefuls every year by providing them with the financial and human resources they need to succeed at the highest level -  will participate in the tournament. Diane Parry, Arthur Cazaux, Luca Van Asshe and Elsa Jacquemot, winner of the 2020 Roland Garros Junior, will all be on the courts of Roland-Garros.

Elsa Jacquemot who, alongside Emma Jouy and Yoshka Sborowsky, will appear in the documentary that will to be broadcast on France Télévision during the French Open. The 28-minute film takes us into the extraordinary daily life of these young players, who are brimming with ambition and dreaming of becoming champions.

And long live tennis!

For BNP Paribas, tennis is both a passion that is shared and a vehicle for inclusion and success. On the occasion of the French Open, the Group is offering 5,000 French Tennis Federation licenses to 19-25 year old players, to support clubs in difficulty due to the health crisis and to facilitate learning tennis after the excitement that the 15 days of the biggest clay-court tournament are sure to create. 

And since passion for sport is also transmitted on the big screen, BNP Paribas is inviting 300 cinema and tennis fans to the preview of the film "5ème Set", of which it is a partner, on 10 June on the Suzanne Lenglen court. 

Supporters in solidarity!

Sport conveys values of effort, solidarity and equal opportunities, which are essential in a programme of active support for young people. These values are shared by BNP Paribas through the programme in favour of education and the rights of children in Togo, run by the NGO CARE and led by tennis player Félix Auger-Aliassime. How does it work? Each point scored by the player is monetised, and topped up by partners, in order to finance the improvement of the daily life of young people of Togo, especially the school system. And it works! More than 6,600 points have already been recorded and converted into over 130,000 euros. Would you like to be a part of this initiative? The programme opens for donations from the general public starting 25 May 2021 on World Africa Day. 

This solidarity financing operation complements the "Aces du Cœur" scheme created in 2016. Each winning serve during the French Open (the famous aces) is counted and monetised to benefit the Parisian children's hospital Robert Debré and the association "Fête le Mur", which uses tennis to help the greatest number of people by working for the integration of young people in sensitive urban areas.

This initiative complements the many initiatives already implemented by BNP Paribas to help young people, which are long-term and often co-created with partner associations. With tangible results in education, employment, access to culture, housing and professional integration. Sport, and in fact tennis, is one of the main areas of the Group's efforts to support the younger generation.  Because if it does not demonstrate solidarity, if it is not accessible to young people and if it does not play a role that is commensurate with the values it deserves tennis - like all sports - has a limited future. So once again: let's hear it for young people in sport and on the tennis courts. 

Photo header ©IP3 PRESS/MAXPPP

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