Cap screwed on his head and racket under his arm, Lucas is waiting for the end of his lunch break in a tennis club in Puteaux (Hauts-de-Seine). At 10, he couldn’t wait to be outside all day. “It makes me feel good because staying locked up at home for a whole day is a bit annoying, he explains. At least there, we can play with people our age, so it makes me happy to go out and play tennis. “ Air-conditioned centers canceled, gyms closed and travel restricted … In the middle of the Easter holidays, the list of activities authorized for children, due to the Covid-19 epidemic, is not very long. To be able to keep them busy for a few hours a day, some parents turn to outdoor sports associations.
In this club in the Paris region, children are delighted to be able to let off steam. Patrick has been a tennis teacher for 20 years and he has never seen his students so happy: “We really feel a need. They were confined and very courageous. There, they really need to run. There really is a rather special atmosphere, they are very happy.”
On the grounds, no mask but a lot of space. And that’s precisely what reassures Sarah, who came to look for Robin. This year, they couldn’t leave, but she wants her 9-year-old son to get as much air as possible and to meet children his age. “They tend to stay at home and being outside and playing sports makes a difference. He is tired, goes to bed earlier in the evening and eats a lot better too. All the right conditions to be able to be able to grow well and be outdoors. “
On the yard next door, Xavier is carrying his 6-year-old elder’s Spiderman bag. After Emmanuel Macron’s announcements, this teleworking father had to reorganize the holidays at the last minute: “It’s a bit of a rush at the grandmother’s so it’s good that we can occupy it this week with tennis and next week it’s at the grandmother’s. At least it lets off steam and playing tennis these days is quite relevant. “
Many parents have had this reasoning. Normally, the club welcomes around 40 children during the Easter holidays. But this week, Franck Raymond, the club director, has twice as many registrants as in previous years: “We had a lot of new children that we didn’t usually have. We have a lot of them who usually do other sports, like dance, gymnastics and sometimes even handball, but as the gymnasiums are closed. ” And children can continue to exercise at the start of the school year because sports lessons are once again allowed in schools.