France: Green Tour

  • The Green Squash Tour is back for its third year, with seven stops in France.
  • The tour is growing in size and scope, with increased prize money and a more sustainable approach.
  • The founder of the tour, Nicolas Barbeau, is feeling more pressure this year to promote the event and the sport of squash.

Green Squash Tour: A Growing Success

Emma Hadopp & Fram Gommendy at the keyboard

The Green Squash Tour is back for its third consecutive year, starting on October 24. The tour has become a major part of the French squash landscape, and it now includes seven stops: Lagord, Couzeix, Gradignan, Niort, Cognac, Nancy, and Lille.

Nicolas Barbeau has coordinated and organised the Green Squash Tour for three years. The tour has grown significantly, with seven stops this year compared to four in 2021 and five in 2022. The tour has also expanded its reach, now extending to Lille and Maxéville in the north of France.

The Green Squash Tour is committed to sustainability. Each tournament organiser must adhere to a charter that includes reducing waste, using recycled materials, and encouraging players to carpool or take public transportation.

Thanks to its sustainability efforts, the Green Squash Tour has been awarded the Bronze Label “Développement durable, le sport s’engage®” from the French National Olympic Committee and Sports Federation (CNOSF). This label does not provide direct financial assistance, but it does help the tour’s promoters when they apply for funding from public organisations.

The Green Squash Tour is also growing financially. The total prize money for the tour has increased to over $100,000 this year, up from $67,000 in 2022 and $33,000 in 2021. This increase is due to more stops and the prize money at some existing stops.

Lagord, for example, has increased its prize money to $30,000, making it the second-largest PSA Challenger Tour event in France after Paris Squash 2023. Cognac has also expanded its prize money to $12,000.

Nicolas Barbeau, the founder of the Green Squash Tour, says that he is feeling more pressure this year than in previous years and that he needs to do a better job of promoting the tour and the sport of squash.

Devoting himself solely to refereeing throughout the entire circuit (in partnership with the top French referees like Simon Saunders, Vincent Brygo, and Pascal Pianfetti), Nicolas Barbeau has assembled a team to whom he delegates all communication organisation during this period. This begins with a Community Manager, Floriane Nizard (a former Chartraine squash player), who will coordinate and disseminate all information, along with photographers, videographers, and journalists, including Emma Hadopp and Fram Gommendy.

The Green Squash Tour is a significant event for the French squash community. It is helping to promote the sport and to make it more sustainable.