Editorial – I had a dream

I had a dream. That all young boys and girls, no matter what their races or skin colour, one day would come hand-in-hand and watch… a badminton game. Just kidding. […]

ImageI had a dream. That all young boys and girls, no matter what their races or skin colour, one day would come hand-in-hand and watch… a badminton game. Just kidding. And don’t worry, I am not pretending to be Martin Luther King either!

by Raphael Sachetat, Chief Editor of Badzine

But, somehow, I did have a dream in that line. To see the frontiers bow to the love of the sport which I love myself, for the spectators from all over the world to share. The players on the international circuit have learned to live with one another, no matter where they are from or what they look like, like a big family. I know that we can do the same with fans and spectators, and bring a new tradition to the sport.

And, what better time or place than the 2008 French Super Series in Paris to start a tradition? First of all, because this is a great event. Last year, I was stunned by the atmosphere of this Super Series and quite proud of the accomplishment of my compatriots for their first major badminton event. And even if I must admit that Parisians are not well known for their hospitality, I know that the great badminton family will make you change your mind about the French way of welcoming foreigners.

This is why we have decided to ask for families and other French badminton lovers to host badminton fans from all over the world. And guess what? in a recent poll on Badzine, no less than 200 people said they would be willing to host new friends and go with them to watch the French Open. This could be your best opportunity to share a bit of French culture, stay in people’s houses or apartments, see their way of living, discovering Paris and enjoying some great badminton at the same time.  Not to mention, enjoy free lodging in one of the most expensive cities in the world!

Stay with a French Family

Of course, don’t expect to be staying in a 5-star hotel or have 3 rooms for yourself, but we’ve asked our hosts to provide you with a modicum of privacy and to be less than one hour away from the Stadium Pierre de Coubertin, which is in Paris, a few metres away from the Famous Rolland Garros stadium.

The idea is simple: once you’ve applied, we’ll put you in touch with a French family, and you can email each other to prepare your trip. We’ll buy tickets in advance to get a discount (full-week passes or weekend passes) for the Super Series and then, you can plan and arrange your trip to Paris and be welcomed by your host family. All you have to do is log into the dedicated website (http://www.badzinetrip.com) and send your application form.

As a student, I used to host friends of friends, whom I didn’t know before they came to visit me.  To people from some cultures, it could sound a bit odd, but I have met great people this way and I was very proud to share my culture, my beautiful city. I have made real friends, whom I have kept until now, this way. And I’m sure that the French hosts who apply for this program are also willing to make this trip very enjoyable for you and that strong bonds can be made.

ImageSurprise, surprise…

You may come alone, or with a friend or with someone from your family and enjoy this original unique opportunity of travelling to France in the fall (the tournament is held from October 28th to November 2nd).

And we have some surprises for you, as we’ll try to hold a huge party on the Saturday night of the event, in a special place in Paris, but also, try to provide you with the opportunity to meet with the players of your country in a privileged way, maybe talk to them or have an autograph session with them, and many other surprises to make you feel like our Badzine VIPs!

So, don’t hesitate and be quick in applying, as there might not be room or tickets for everyone! For more details, log in at http://www.badzinetrip.com/eng

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Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.