PORTRAIT / Osé Saint-Louis-Gabriel: an ambitious president for his tennis club

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Who does not know Osé Saint-Louis-Gabriel? For decades, this yellow ball enthusiast has been working for the development of tennis in Saint-Martin. Meeting with a club president always ready to take on new challenges.

 

Faxinfo: Can you introduce yourself?

Dared Saint-Louis-Gabriel: “I have been married for 36 years, I have four children (1 girl and three boys) as well as three grandchildren. I was born in Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe). After following a traditional education, I continued my studies in Paris and Montpellier. I have been living in Saint-Martin for thirty-two years now. I am a health executive at the Louis-Constant Fleming Hospital”.

 

FI: Where does your passion for tennis come from?

OSLG: “I first practiced competitive volleyball, basketball and football. I discovered tennis a little later at Porte de Saint-Cloud in Paris where a tennis court was available to us. This is where I started teasing the yellow ball with my wife before playing tournaments in Paris and the Paris region”.

 

FI: How did you discover tennis when you arrived in Saint-Martin?

OSLG: " It's not complicated ! As soon as I arrived in Saint-Martin in 1991, I found out where it was possible to practice tennis on the island. I learned through Lou Baly that many people who are passionate about tennis meet regularly at Sandy-Ground to play friendly matches. With the Municipal Sports Office, we organized several meetings at the Bord de Mer school to create a club. From there was born the Tennis Club Ile de Saint-Martin with as president Jean-Martin Muller, tax collector at the time and myself as vice-president. After the departure of Jean-Martin, I was appointed president of the club in 2002”.

 

FI: How do you view tennis today?

OSLG: “We must not hide our face, we have fallen a lot behind since the passage of Hurricane Irma in 2017. For eight years, we have been organizing an international women's tournament  ITF endowed with 15 dollars as well as at the local level, five adult tournaments and three youth tournaments each year. Unfortunately, due to a lack of infrastructure (note: the TCISM still does not have a clubhouse worthy of the name to date), we have been forced to cancel a large number of tournaments. For more than five years, we had neither toilets nor water. Admit that it is very complicated to organize tournaments under these conditions!

 

FI: You have an optimistic temperament. Tennis in Saint-Martin has a bright future ahead of it, doesn't it?

OSLG: " Of course ! For some time, we have recorded the arrival of a new coach within the TCISM, Jurgen who is doing a remarkable job with both adults and young people. We have also diversified our offer with the opening of a Padel court. A tournament with young teams has also just been created between the clubs of Anguilla, Sint Maarten and ourselves. Which is a very good thing for the promotion of tennis on the island and in the surrounding islands. Finally, I am proud to announce that a youngster from the club has just been selected to participate in the next Roland Garros from May 28 to June 11 as a ball boy. The TCISM will be present on the famous Parisian clay! »

 

FI: What are your objectives in the weeks and months to come?

OSLG: “The reconstruction of our clubhouse. I will then be the happiest of presidents! I hope we will also be able to reorganize our international women's tournament soon. Otherwise, we evolve again in the 1st division for the regional championship by teams. Which is a very good thing for the club. As for young people, our wish is to organize trips to allow them to measure themselves against other experienced players and thus progress in their favorite sport. For the record, we had 604 licensees last year. Which is a great source of motivation to make the Tennis Club Ile de Saint-Martin progress again and again! » _AF

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Faxinfo: https://www.faxinfo.fr/

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