Marc Freriks is 41, German by birth and has lived in Ischgl for almost 20 years. He is the proprietor of the restaurant and pub “Alt Paznaun” and is active in the town as the chairman of the tennis club. He speaks to Trisanna about love, a great sport and growing into a new homeland. 

Marc, you actually came to Ischgl as a seasonal worker when you were 23. Why did you stay?
It really was a big coincidence. I studied wholesale and trade in Westerstede, near Oldenburg, where I come from. At 23 I reached the stage where I felt I had to get out now. Out of the office and out of the region. A friend of mine worked in Ischgl and suggested I came with him.
And then?
Then I fell in love. Right in the first season, I met my future wife and stayed here.

Why are we meeting here at the tennis club?
I was a very active tennis player in Germany from a very young age, but then sadly I stopped completely when I was 14 and played basketball instead. I only started again when I came to Ischgl. At some point I qualified as a trainer, and in 2007 I joined the board here.

Today you’re the chairman.
For eleven years now. I still find it fun, also because we’ve grown more in the past few years. Being chairman is not always the most thankful job, but I do it out of love for, and attachment to, the sport. And I have to say, we are really lucky. We have wonderful facilities with four open air and four permanent indoor courts. That‘s not often the case. At this point I have to thank the cableway for their support with the facilities. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to maintain it.
You’ve been in Paznaun for 19 years now. When you hear the word “homeland”, what do you think of?
Parznaun has definitely become my homeland. That’s because of my family, of course, my children who have grown up here. But you grow and develop too, with the region as well, when you live somewhere for a long time. At the beginning you might feel a bit foreign still, but then you grow into it, bit by bit.

If you’d like to book a tennis court at TC Ischgl, simply make a reservation at the Silvretta-Center square and get playing!