When we thinkabout France, we usually think about the Eiffel Tower, wine, cheese, and brandslike Decathlon, Chanel, Carrefour or Peugeot. What most people probably don’tknow is that basketball is one of the top sports being played and spectated inthis country (the others being football, rugby, cycling and tennis).
Wellit’s not a surprise when we look at where the French women’s team stands in theworld ranking on the FIBA website
*Ranking above was based on information taken onMarch 11, 2015. For more updated information, please refer to the link above.
When we want tolearn about women’s basketball in France, we’ll need to look at how thestructure is like in this country. How sport is integrated in the educationsystem, how it is viewed in the culture,and how it is affected by the economy play major roles in determining how muchbasketball is being played at all levels in a country. Looking at the diagrambelow, we can see that women’s basketball in France is broken down to eightdifferent levels, with the top four considered professional/semi-professional.
*For more information about the women’sprofessional league in France, please refer to their official website(available in French only).
Are yousurprised at the information above? For MELODY maybe it is a not a surprise aswe have had French members in our club. One common thing we observed fromhosting French players in the club is, they enjoy the sport as much as we do atthe amateur level. :)
*A photo of an outdoor out near the Eiffel Tower.
One of thethings that is quite different from home is the amount of fee they have to payto play basketball in Shanghai (more expensive to play basketball in Shanghai).We know about it prior to further research, but when MELODY’s founder heard itwith her own ears from a team’s coach in one of the districts in Paris; shefinally understood what her French team mates in MELODY were talking about.
*An amateur women’s basketball team’s training onthe 18th district in Paris.
Looking at thegame of basketball, one of the biggest costs for a team is the basketballcourt’s rental fee. For this specific team that she played with during her stayin Paris, (due to the subsidy given by the sports governing bodies), they areonly paying two euros (Yes! ONLY two euros!!!) for an hour for a full courtwith a heating system (yes, that’s right, they play in a warm gym in thewinter!). This information gave her the most direct answer why women’sbasketball at all levels in China has been lacking the support from the societyin general required for it to develop and grow.
想更了解在法国当地女篮的情况，MELODY的创始人与一位法国女篮球记者，Syra SYLLA见了面。她创办了一个专门报道全球女篮的网站Lady Hoop，并且环球采访和报道女篮新闻。同时她也是巴黎第二十区纯女子篮球俱乐部的创始人之一。
Keen to learnmore about the women’s basketball scene in France, MELODY’s founder met up witha women’s basketball journalist, Syra Sylla, who created the website Lady Hoop, traveling around the world reportingabout women’s basketball news. She is also one of the founders of the women’sonly basketball club in Paris in the 20th district of this city.
*一位法国女子篮球爱好者穿着Syra SYLLA所制作的”Girls Can Dunk”上衣.
*French female baller wearing a “Girls Can Dunk”top created by Syra Sylla.
虽然Vee从来没有见过Syra，但这一个小时的谈话如同与老朋友聊天一样。因为她们在谈话的前五分钟内直接聊到对女子篮球有共识的话题。这是一个非常奇妙的感觉。 ;) 我们相信这是大多数初次认识到MELODY的新人的感受，终于，一个我们可以打球的平台。
Though Virginiahas never met Syra prior to their meeting, the one hour conversation felt likea long needed chat with an old friend; as they just clicked and shared commonthoughts about basketball within the first five minutes. It was an amazingfeeling. ;) We believe this is how most of our members felt when they found outabout MELODY, finally, a place where we can play this team sport.
We see a glimpseof hope with amateur women’s basketball in China and MELODY hopes to be one ofthe many clubs and teams in the country who is working towards a big goal forgrassroots women’s basketball! :)
To end thearticle, we would to share that MELODY and friends now have at least threeteams we can play if we travel to Paris for our basketball tour in the future!:)