Created in 1952, the Montivillon Tennis Group is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Having become the flagship club of the Le Havre agglomeration, it intends to continue its development while working for the good health of tennis in the metropolis.
It all started one day in April 1952. The 16th to be exact. The Montivilliers Tennis Club was born that day. The young association only had one outdoor track, located on the avenue du Maréchal Foch.
For more than 25 years, TCM will grow at its own pace. It had just over thirty members when, in 1978, the Montivilliers Tennis Club was renamed Groupe Montivillon de Tennis. Get out of TCM, long live GMT! The club then had a track in the sports pavilion of the Jean-Prévost Institute. A single court that does not prevent the number of affiliations from increasing.
President of the club since 2015, recalls Nicolas Poissonnière. “If the Municipal Sports Office in Montivilliers was created in 1978, it is largely due to the GMT. Its growth challenged the City Council, which at the time wanted to regulate the Montivillon sports network. »
In 1979, the first collaboration between the municipality and the club was signed. The purpose of this agreement is to develop its infrastructure. In 1980, the city acquired land near Belle Étoile which it made available to the GMT. It is up to him to carry out the work that promises to be substantial.
The most important sports association in Montivilliers
In 1981, the Montivillion Tennis Group moved to rue Henri-Matisse, where it remains to this day. The inauguration took place in 1982. At that time, members could make the most of four outdoor courts, a covered track, a training wall and a clubhouse.
Affiliations are going well. “9 years ago, the club had about 500 members. Today, there are about 900., says Nicolas Poissonnière. This makes GMT the most important sports association in Montivilliers. “The most important thingNicolas Poissonnière, as we now have more members than the AFGA (Association of Families of the Great Air, Montivilliers’ flagship leisure structure). »
With its four indoor courts and three outdoor courts, GMT has become the city’s leading tennis club. In 2019, it was renamed Groupe Montivillon de Tennis Le Havre Métropole.
The tree that hides the forest
A success that is welcomed by its president, who, however, does not hide his concern about the situation of tennis in the Le Havre conurbation: “The Municipal Tennis Club of Le Havre, which was, even yesterday, the leading club in Normandy, has only about 200 members. Despite all the efforts made, the club did not start again. HAC Tennis will close half of its courts. Obviously, we can’t be happy with a situation so in the long run it will end up affecting everyone. ».
With 33% of its members from outside, the GMT and its president expect things to move in the right direction. “So that our clubs can compete with those in the metropolises of Rouen and Caen, which are superior to us in tennis.”
If GMT is the tree that hides the forest today, it can only rejoice in its evolution. He works side by side with the municipality of Montivillonne, preparing to cover three additional courts “Having all our tracks covered, even if it means creating a new outdoor track afterwardsadds Nicolas Poissonnière. The aim is to free up new time slots with the extension, to continue with the modernization and to develop the training center that is only one year old. (see next). » And so return to the metropolis of Le Havre the place that was his yesterday.
Tennis training center and option class
Sportingly, the GMT Le Havre Métropole is in excellent health. In 2015, the first national tournament of Montivilliers City Council was born. In 2022 he joined the National Grand Tournament Circuit (CNGT). An appointment that takes place for more than two weeks. Open to the unclassified, as the tournament progresses, it sees better and better ranked players enter the lists to welcome, from the quarterfinals, numbered players, even professionals.
In parallel to this meeting, the GMT created a training center a year ago. “It’s about allowing about fifteen players with a certain tennis potential to join our structure. This center is open to young people aged 11 to 18, by selection. Then, the selected players benefit from a volume of training hours that vary according to age with, in addition, one hour of weekly physical preparation. We bear a large part of the costs. In return, players agree to play a minimum of 15 tournaments during the year, not counting team matches. »
The tennis option allows two young players from Sainte-Croix and Queneau schools to follow a school curriculum adapted to the practice of their sport, “With the same obligations as the players retained in the training center. For these structures, we have created a position of sports manager.concludes Nicolas Poissonnière.