Rugby referees run behind the rules

Helped by video assistance for twenty years, equipped with a microphone for thirty years, well before their colleagues in other team sports, rugby referees have always been one step ahead. But that does not seem to be enough for the international body of the oval, World Rugby, which keeps putting the work back on the job. This year alone, the game directors have had to integrate five new rules or arrangements, two of which are still very far from being fully absorbed by the men at the whistle as by the players.

One is called 50/22. It allows a player to kick in touch from his camp, in the opposing 22 m, and to recover the throw-in if the ball rebounded before going out (before, it came back to the opposing team). Excellent in principle, since it is about promoting the attacking game, this innovation caused a wave of panic at the start of the season. “In the first match, we messed up despite the video, because we weren’t used to asking for a wider shot which would have shown us that a kick granted was invalid”, explains Laurent Cardona, Top 14 referee.

Player safety first

But it is above all a new tackle rule prohibiting a player from accompanying his teammate in his fall when falling on his opponent which gives headaches to the referees. “We must make a decision very quickly taking into account the danger, the intention, the influence of this fault on the rest of the game”, continues his colleague Cédric Marchat, who nevertheless welcomes these new rules: “It’s good to constantly adapt, it keeps us from rusting!” “

→ ANALYSIS. French rugby union dreams of a founding weekend

Well in his political role, the technical director of refereeing, Franck Maciello, reminds him that the priority of the authorities is to protect the sporting integrity of the players, in a physical context which has hardened a lot for twenty years. Formerly slender, the rears have lost nothing in speed, but weigh about twenty kilos more.As for the forwards, the “big ones” as they are nicknamed in rugby, they have retained their mass and gained in speed. “You don’t need to have completed an engineering school to understand that the weight-to-power ratio makes impacts much more dangerous”, explains one of the youngest Top14 referees, Thomas Charabas, 32 years old.

“Not always easy to follow”

Less tongue-in-cheek than his colleges, this super-graduate who reconciles his work as a professional referee and a post of emergency doctor in Bayonne, does not hide certain difficulties of adaptation in the first weeks. “Learning the new rules and understanding them isn’t the hard part. The difficulty is to apply them in a fraction of a second, in the letter but also with the intention of the player who erred.In the preparation camps where we trained among referees, we did not always agree between us on the decisions. “

Thomas Charabas is not at the end of his sentences because other adjustments, particularly concerning tackles, are underway in the bodies of this constantly evolving sport. Which has changed its rules more than a hundred times, since the first codification of rugby in 1846.



Successful bet for Alexandre Allain, young transplant marathoner

Nothing differentiated them, at the start, from the 35,000 runners participating in the Paris marathon. A young boy and an older man willing to run together under the banner of the Grégory Lemarchal association, named after this young singer who died at 23 in 2007 from cystic fibrosis. Nothing but very usual on an event where many run for a cause.

→ PORTRAIT. The marathon of the young transplant recipient and his surgeon

The feat of being at the start was inside the chest of the youngest, Alexandre Allain, also suffering from this disease affecting 6,000 people in France and transplanted from both lungs four years ago, while he He only had 6% breathing capacity and a few months to live. The challenge was also in the legs of Antoine Mugniot, his surgeon, a good athlete without more. And who had taken it into his head to accompany his young operated on in his somewhat crazy adventure, while he was in deficit of serious preparation and he had never run over such a long distance.

The famous 30 km wall

42 kilometers and 5 hours and 31 minutes later, almost three times more than the winner and the elite winner, a Kenyan and an Ethiopian who ran in just over two hours, they won their bet. Crossing side by side, smile on the lips, in an obvious emotion and that no one can really measure without doubt.

The last kilometers were arduous, giving a cold sweat to the fans who were waiting for them at the finish. They had not seen them since kilometer 30 because of the route, and watched with concern as the clock approached the six-hour limit imposed by the organization. “I hit the famous 30 km wall in the face, I had to walk a bit because a knee injury woke up, explains Alexandre Allain to The cross. Despite everything, I never doubted to arrive on time because we had taken the lead on the first half which went well. “

His surgeon teammate, as well as the two other people who accompanied them from start to finish, were a little more afraid. “I wondered if it was very safe to continue, nothing to do with the lungs which were obviously working very well, but on the muscular level, it was borderline”, explains Doctor Antoine Mugniot.

“I looked at the sky thinking of my donor”

The surgeon is both happy with his performance and happy to have carried the cause of transplants so high. ” I accompanied Alexandre because I have affection for him, but also because this Paris marathon fell on the day of organ donation in the world, explains the Nantes surgeon. Its success is a tremendous message of hope for all transplant recipients and a reminder that there is a shortage of transplants in all areas. If we put this message forward, I will be a totally happy marathoner ”.

Alexandre Allain carried within him another source of energy, even stronger, that of the man who donated his two lungs to him. “I had said before leaving that I would call on him if I struggled, he recounts. That’s what I did and he helped me a lot. When I crossed the line, I looked at the sky ”.



The marathon of the young transplant recipient and his surgeon

One says he is almost certain to hold the 42 km, the other is less affirmative. And the most skeptical is not the one we think. Alexandre Allain, a lung transplant recipient, shows his confidence. When his 51-year-old surgeon, Antoine Mugniot, rather athletic but lacking in physical exercise, explains that he “Will go as far as he can”. The two will set off together for the Paris Marathon on October 17, World Organ Donation Day.

“Several years after the transplant, we found ourselves, Alexandre and I, says the doctor, a specialist in heart lung transplants at the Thorax Institute of the Nantes University Hospital. I had a marathon project in the back of my head for a long time and when I understood that he was embarking on the adventure of the Paris marathon, I decided to go too. “

We were at the beginning of September. Too late therefore, with regard to the “rule” of three outings per week for three months, in principle essential to overcome the 42 km. “I only did two outings a week for a month and a half, we’ll see, the important thing is to be together”, continues Antoine Mugniot.

“I also run for my donor”

His running companion, he has been preparing for months, but starting from much further in terms of sport. “At the beginning of January, I tried to run, I lasted exactly 13 minutes, I didn’t even think of measuring the distance, it was so ridiculous”, tells the young man, suffering from cystic fibrosis since his childhood. And who had a respiratory capacity of 6% before Dr. Mugniot’s transplant in 2017.

“I took a coach, I trained by alternating short, long, fast, slow, easy, difficult outings, he relates. In fact, it is the method of all those who want to get into the marathon, so my coach followed the usual protocols, he just watched me a little more when he saw that I was struggling. “

Like everyone ? Not quite. Alexandre, born in 1995 in the Sarthe, understands very young that the disease will condemn him to a slow death. Unless you are transplanted before it is too late, that is to say, according to him “To receive and carry the lungs of someone whose life and dreams have stopped”. Since 2017, he has been living for two. “For me of course but also for him, for his family, who don’t know me and whom I don’t know (the donation is anonymous), Sunday when it gets tough, he will take over and we will both cross the line ”.

The pulmonologists tried to slow it down, without success

No doubt they will also feel the momentum of the hundreds of people waiting for a transplant which is often delayed and sometimes never arrives. Like the thousands of people who have followed Alexander’s adventures for years. Because the young transplant recipient is not his first challenge. Before the operation, he had traveled Europe in Renault 6 with friends to raise awareness about cystic fibrosis. After the transplant, he embarked on a crossing of the Atlantic in a crewed sailboat.

“In the marathon, I will have no one to help me, there will be no more car or boat to carry me, I can only count on the strength of my muscles and my lungs, it is a no more, he emphasizes. I do it because I love sport, but also to show that everyone, sick or not, can always dream and go beyond their own limits. I did not have a transplant to stay on my couch, this marathon is an ode to life. “

Another community will closely follow the course of the duettists. That of the pulmonologists who took over from the surgical team after the transplant, initially skeptical about his plans for a sporting adventure. “After the transplant, I learned that my pulmonologist colleagues had advised against the boat crossing, they realized they were wrong, rememberdoctor Mugniot. Alexandre helps medicine to push back the limits of knowledge, it is one more reason for me to accompany it, at the end or not ”.

By keeping a reasonable pace, around 10 km / h, which would place his finish time around 4:15, Alexandre is convinced that he will cross the line. And already sees further. “I am destined for a career as an agent or coach for high-level athletes, he adds. Getting ready to run the marathon with a transplant or training for the Olympics is a bit the same thing. “

This year 2021 will have already been marked for him by another long course, the story of his history. “This second marathon in front of the computer was almost even harder, I had to scroll through my life and come back to a lot of horrible memories that I had pretended to forget”.


A race against disease

Born in 1995, Alexandre Allain took up writing to tell his story, shared with the 6,000 patients with cystic fibrosis in France. In this book, he does not hide anything from the difficult moments he lived – the pain, the incomprehension of the professors or the doctors, the relapses – but he also chooses to greet the people, much more numerous, who held out to him. hand. Although some recent and experimental treatments are giving hope, the only reliable alternative to progressive suffocation is a lung transplant, which usually works well.

A breath of hope, Hugo Doc editions, 270 pages, € 18.95.



2022 Tour de France route: discover the map of the stages of the 109th edition

This time it’s the right one. Deprived of Tour in 2021 because of the Covid and the postponement of one year of the Euro with matches organized in its capital, Denmark finally welcomes the Grande Boucle for its 109e edition from 1er July 2022. And for the most northerly Grand Départ in its long history, the Tour de France is obviously not making the trip for nothing: three stages will be contested in the Scandinavian kingdom.

To liven up the affair from the outset, the organizers are counting on an individual entry time trial over 13 km in Copenhagen on 1er July, and on two stages in a row, the second of which is offered to the pranks of Aeolus, with 50 km along the coast and the crossing in the last pitches of the Great Belt Strait on the third longest bridge in the world, of 6.7 km.

The cobblestones of the North and the vertigo of the peaks in the Alps

Guaranteeing a show from the first week is always the major concern of the organizers, who promise a rapid resumption of hostilities after a day of rest on Monday July 4, time to repatriate the great cycling circus in France, and more exactly in the North. A few cobblestones on the menu to spice up the sauce, and quickly head to the Planche des Belles-Filles on Friday July 8, the queen of the Vosges becoming a must-see on the Tour for a sixth visit since 2010.

After a short trip to Switzerland, passing through Aigle, where the headquarters of the International Cycling Union (UCI) is located, and another day of rest, watch your eyes with a second alpine week of very high standards. A Morzine – Geneva stage to start the business, then the great return of the Col du Granon, perched at 2,400 m, one of the toughest in the Alps, whose laces have been waiting for climbers since 1986, and, to end the infernal triptych, July 14 at the top of Alpe d’Huez, which the runners had not approached since 2018.

Lourdes and Rocamadour the last week

The organizations will hardly be able to breathe on the way to the Pyrenees with an arrival in Mende, in Lozère, on the Côte de la Croix Neuve renamed “Montée Jalabert” after the feat of the tri-colored runner who won after a very long single-handed breakaway in 1995. In the Pyrenees, the last explanations of the climbers are scheduled for July 20, with a spectacular arrival at the altiport of the Peyragudes resort, where a certain James Bond stood out in 1997 (in Tomorrow never dies) but especially Romain Bardet winner in 2017, and the next day, July 21, after leaving the sanctuary of Lourdes, another fight on the peaks in Hautacam, who had been patient since 2014.

Finally, the icing on the cake, the time trial which can play justices of the peace on July 23. This year, it will be a yellow jersey and a black virgin, since the final race against the chronometer is scheduled in Rocamadour, the medieval and religious city of Lot, the day before the finish on the Champs-Élysées, on Sunday July 24. Where, even before the arrival of the men, the teams of the Women’s Tour de France will leave, returning after more than 30 years of absence.

→ ANALYSIS. The beautiful autumn of women’s cycling

The event, run from 1984 to 1989 as the curtain-raiser of the Men’s Tour, will be limited to eight days next year. The race director, the former champion and television consultant Marion Rousse, presented a course of 1,029 km concentrated in the north-east of France, and which promises a successful arrival on July 31 on the arid slopes from the Planche des Belles-Filles, borrowed a few days earlier by these gentlemen.


The 21 stages of the Tour de France 2022

The 2022 Tour de France has a distance of 3,328 kilometers, an estimate that may be slightly corrected after the organizers’ last reconnaissance.

1st step: Copenhagen (DAN) – Copenhagen, 13 km (individual time trial) (July 1)

2nd step: Roskilde (DAN) – Nyborg (DAN), 199 km (July 2)

3rd step: Vejle (DAN) – Sönderborg (DAN), 182 km (July 3)

Transfer (July 4)

4th step: Dunkirk – Calais, 172 km (July 5)

5th step: Lille Métropole – Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, 155 km (July 6)

6th step: Binche (BEL) – Longwy, 220 km (July 7)

7th step: Tomblaine – The great Belles-Filles board, 176 km (July 8)

8th step: Dole – Lausanne (SUI), 184 km (July 9)

9th step: Aigle (SUI) – Châtel, 183 km (July 10)

Rest in Morzine (July 11)

10th step: Morzine – Megeve, 148 km (July 12)

11th step: Albertville – Granon pass, 149 km (July 13)

12th step: Briançon – Alpe d’Huez, 166 km (July 14)

13th step: Bourg d’Oisans – Saint-Étienne, 193 km (July 15)

14th step: Saint-Étienne – Mende, 195 km (July 16)

15th step: Rodez – Carcassonne, 200 km (July 17)

Rest in Carcassonne (July 18)

16th step: Carcassonne – Foix, 179 km (July 19)

17th step: Saint-Gaudens – Peyragudes, 130 km (July 20)

18th stage: Lourdes – Hautacam, 143 km (July 21)

19th stage: Castelnau-Magnoac – Cahors, 189 km (July 22)

20th step: Lacapelle-Marival – Rocamadour, 40 km (individual time trial) (23 July)

21st step: Paris La Défense Arena – Paris Champs-Elysées, 112 km (July 24)



The Tour de France women 2022 will start in front of the Eiffel Tower on July 24

Marion Rousse, recently appointed director of the event organized by ASO, unveiled Thursday, October 14, the route of this “First” edition, eight stages long for a distance exceeding 1,000 kilometers.

A women’s Tour de France has existed in the past in different forms. Organized in parallel with the Men’s Tour from 1984 to 1989, it then took place with other organizers under other names before disappearing at the end of the 2000s for lack of funding.

The Tour de France Women will start on the day of the arrival of the Tour 2022 men, Sunday July 24. The new event will be endowed with € 250,000 in prizes, including 50,000 for the winner, i.e. an amount greater than the one-week races for men (the total amount of the Paris-Nice prizes reaches for example € 144,300, including 16,000 to the winner).

Eight days of racing, waiting for more?

The officially named race route “Tour de France Women with Zwift” will take the direction of the east of France along four stages of plain, two others with a rugged profile and two days in the mountains.

→ ANALYSIS. The beautiful autumn of women’s cycling

Symbolically, the competitors will climb the Ballon d’Alsace, the first pass to be climbed by the Tour de France in 1905, and will compete for the last yellow jersey at the top of the super Planche des Belles-Filles which will also be the finish of the Grande Boucle l ‘next year.

“An eight-day race is the right format”, estimated Marion Rousse. “We do not put barriers to go beyond thereafter. Our ambition is to organize a long-lasting race and, for this, the economic aspect is essential ”.

A daily live TV of 2:30

If the highest point of the event is set at the Grand Ballon (1336 m above sea level), in the 7e and penultimate stage leading to the Alsatian station of Markstein, the longest stage will reach 175 kilometers between Bar-le-Duc and Saint-Dié-des-Vosges (5e stage).

Curiosity of this first edition, the 4e step will take the “White paths”, French version of the Tuscan Strade Bianche, that is to say chalky paths through the vineyards of the Champagne hillsides for nearly 13 kilometers as you approach Bar-sur-Aube.

Twenty-two teams of six runners will be entered and the race will benefit from a live broadcast of 2.5 hours per day on France Télévisions. “The races already exist in women’s cycling”, noted Tour director Christian Prudhomme. “What is lacking is dissemination, media coverage, essential to ensure economic balance. We hope to achieve balance in the first year ”.


The 8 stages of the Tour de France Women 2022

July 24 : 1st stage Paris Eiffel Tower – Paris Champs-Élysées, 82 km

July 25 : 2nd stage Meaux (Seine-et-Marne) – Provins (Seine-et-Marne), 135 km

July 26 : 3rd stage Reims – Épernay (Marne), 133 km

July 27 : 4th stage Troyes – Bar-sur-Aube (Aube), 126 km

July 28 : 5th stage Bar-le-Duc (Meuse) – Saint-Dié-des-Vosges (Vosges), 175 km

July 29 : 6th stage Saint-Dié-des-Vosges (Vosges) – Rosheim (Bas-Rhin), 128 km

July 30 : 7th stage Sélestat (Bas-Rhin) – Le Markstein (Haut-Rhin), 127 km

July 31 : 8th stage Lure (Haute-Saône) – The super Planche des Belles-Filles (Haute-Saône), 123 km



Football: Lionel Messi, are we doing too much?

Lionel Messi madness, everywhere. At the Parc des Princes in Paris for the presentation, on August 11, of the new PSG recruit to the supporters of the club in the capital. In Reims, a few days later, for his entry into play – only about twenty minutes – in Ligue 1. In Bruges, on September 15, for his first tenure with his teammates just as stars – Neymar and Kylian Mbappé – in the Ligue des champions. And each time, numb football fans, rave reviews, “Messi (on all tones) thank you “

For PSG, the blow seems to be perfect, the result of a combination of exceptional circumstances, including an incredible break in the links between the Argentinean and his club at heart, FC Barcelona. Recruiting Messi without transfer fees, even if his salary exceeds 40 million euros annually, was an unthinkable windfall a few months earlier.

→ ANALYSIS. Lionel Messi, a star at all costs for Paris

And it didn’t take long for PSG to start seeing the benefits. The player’s number 30 flocked jerseys are selling like hot cakes, at least three times more than Neymar’s when the Brazilian arrived in 2017. PSG is banking on an increase in sales of 30 to 40% this year. On social networks, the number of “followers” of the club jumped 25 million in one month (it exceeds 140 million now). The PSG brand has become the most followed in the world, even more than the big French luxury brands. In future negotiations, all club partnerships will be revised upwards.

A “tremendous success” for Qatar

“For Qatar, his arrival is also a tremendous success a year and a half before the World Cup organized by the emirate: it is one more jewel in the crown, at the end of an impressive transfer window with others arrivals which ultimately make up undoubtedly the best team in history, and complete the country’s sports diplomacy ”, underlines Jean-Baptiste Guégan, teacher and specialist in the geopolitics of sport.

The problem of the murderous sites of the World Cup, with appalling working conditions for immigrant labor? The very choice of Qatar to organize this World Cup, forcing an upheaval in the calendar in order to postpone the matches in winter (from November 21 to December 18, 2022)? “With Messi, the international image of Qatar is for a time restored and it is an important success for a State which wants to weigh in the Middle East, in particular compared to the United Arab Emirates or to Saudi Arabia which also practice a soft power athletic “, continues Jean-Baptiste Guégan.

Let’s talk about football rather than angry subjects, then. With Messi as the perfect ambassador or at the head of the ideal gondola. Messi the savior, in a way, it is also true for the championship of France. Ligue 1 was sorry after the crisis in television rights and the sad Mediapro episode, crying over its fate of competition at a discount. Messi arrives and “It is extremely positive for all of French football, as well as for its promotion”, enthuses in The Parisian Michel Denisot, former president of PSG from 1991 to 1998. With a wave of the magic wand, there is no question of reviewing the organization of French football a few weeks earlier on the verge of bankruptcy. And too bad if PSG is the tree that hides the rather deforested forest of Ligue 1.

Should we play the killjoy?

Too bad also if the “All Stars” team of PSG is the symbol of ultra-elitist football, where a few big clubs are increasingly widening the gap that separates them from the others. The global trend annoys supporters, who very often grumble against the extremely wealthy teams that distort the popular football of yesteryear. But all applaud Messi in Paris.

“The supporters are often a bit contradictory, recognizes Hervé Mougin, chief supporter of the Blues within the association of the French Irresistibles. They know on the one hand that the perpetual rise in the wage bill in the clubs is a race for the shallot, and that the excessive financialization of football is driving sport into the wall. But how can you not be excited to see the best players evolve together? “

→ READ. The supporters find the stands and impose themselves as guardians of the temple

Indeed. Should we play the killjoy? Perhaps by wondering about such a concentration of talent, which could well end up wringing definitively the neck of the “glorious uncertainty of sport”. PSG, already, prances at the top of Ligue 1. And the bookmakers do not give much of their opponents in the Champions League. That Messi and his “dream team” confirm by reigning over Europe and it will be said that it was written. The very denial of the interest of sport?



Emmanuel Macron launches his sports plan and announces 5,000 sports equipment created or renovated

After the words, the budgetary acts. In his reception speech for the Tokyo medalists on September 13, Emmanuel Macron called for sports mobilization after the disappointing results of the Olympic Games. This speech, which had made waves in the sports world, should lead, a month later, to announcements, during a trip by the Head of State to Seine-Saint-Denis, at the heart of the device. of the Paris Games.

→ READ. Olympic Games: Onesta plan to glean more medals in Paris

The president indeed hears, according to his sports advisor Cyril Mourin, “Take advantage of the leverage of games to strengthen sports policy in terms of schools, public health and territorial action”.Concretely, an envelope of 200 million new credits will be opened to the National Sports Agency, an organization created in 2019 to coordinate all sports actions in the territory.

Lightweight and inexpensive infrastructure

No less than 5,000 sports facilities will be created or renovated, according to the Élysée. With a priority for poorly endowed areas: priority neighborhoods for city policy in Seine Saint-Denis or Marseille, and rural development areas. The effort will focus on light and inexpensive infrastructure. The plan targets in particular the City Stadiums, judo halls (dojos), 3 x 3 basketball courts, padel courts or removable swimming pools.

Appropriations will be specifically directed towards the requalification of existing equipment for new needs. Certain college or high school stadiums will thus be fitted out to be accessible to the public outside of school hours. Municipal halls or common areas on the ground floor of social buildings will be suitable for sports uses.

Immediately available credits

For the sake of efficiency, these credits are immediately available, allocated over time, according to the needs expressed by the federations, without waiting for the usual budgetary arbitration. Emmanuel Macron should also announce that the State will commit to at least 50% on each project. This rate can go up to 80% in certain cases (100% in the overseas territories and departments).

→ PANDEMIC. The enthusiasm for home sports quickly waned

Member of the Loire (Generations) and co-chair of the working group on Paris 2024 at the National Assembly, Régis Juanico regrets that this plan is coming so late. “It’s always good that we put money into sport, explains the opposition MP, but it would not have been necessary to plan for three years in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the sums allocated to sports equipment. We had fallen to a historically low level, there we are correcting it is good, but we lost a lot of time ”.“One can also wonder about the means freed in addition to animate these places, because an empty stadium, without educator or project of animation, it is useless”, he adds.

A president footballer for a day

These announcements will be distilled during a morning dedicated to the sports and Olympic world. The presidential procession will pass through the Olympic village, whose construction is well underway. The opportunity for Emmanuel Macron to check that the deadlines are respected, as well as the conditions of employment imposed by the State in the application file. According to the sports advisor of the Élysée, the imposed target of 10% of jobs induced by Paris 2024 resulting from integration has been exceeded (we are talking about 13%).

The afternoon will then be festive for the president, who will leave Seine Saint-Denis to reach the Yvelines, in Poissy, where the Variétés Club de France, “his” ephemeral football club awaits him. In order to pay tribute to this association organizing matches for the benefit of charities, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, he will put on crampons alongside former glories, such as Marcel Desailly, Arsène Wenger, Christian Karembeu or Jean-Michel Larqué .



Stéphane Hadjeras, story boxer

When researcher Stéphane Hadjeras, former president and coach of the athletic Besançon Ring, talks about boxing, his eyes light up. A passion inherited from a pugilist uncle that the kid, born forty-seven years ago in the towers of the popular district of Les Clairs-Soleils, admired. “I started practicing the noble art when I was a teenager”, he recounts. A period of his life that he describes, with a smile, as “Tumultuous”.

The dreamy child, calm, overflowing with imagination, comic lover, in the moon, some teachers said, turns into a rebellious teenager after the separation of his parents of Algerian origin. “My mother found herself alone with five children to raise”, he confides modestly.

This family situation then confronted him with realities “Which should not be that of a 10 year old child”. “I realized that life was neither sweet nor easy. I even tasted petty crime. I could have rocked, but I loved sports and especially boxing. It saved me by teaching me discipline, tenacity. The routine of training several times a week away from the neighborhood gave me a framework… ”

Meeting with the professor of letters Anne-Lise Carrière

A meeting also played a fundamental role in his journey. The one with Anne-Lise Carrière: “This professor of letters gave me a taste for literature, for words, he confides. When I defended my thesis, I would have liked her to be present, to tell her the fundamental role she played in my life. Thanks to her, I started to believe in myself and in other horizons. When you come from working-class neighborhoods, it’s not easy because tomorrow seems so far away. We burn life there at both ends between friends. We let ourselves be caught by demons. “

Stéphane Hadjeras recognizes that he could have taken a shorter path to reach where he is today, while explaining that this path, he did not know it. “I had this desire to transmit within me. What I did with boxing and history when I became a graduate coach oféstate and teacher in a vocational school. But in terms of research, it took me longer to get started. I was a dad at 22. It was necessary to ensure the daily. “

It is also thanks to his children that he will return to boxing, once an adult: “I accompanied them to the club, he recounts. Little by little, the desire to put on the gloves returned. Year after year, I got involved in the life of the club. “ To the point of passing his coaching diplomas and taking on more and more responsibilities until becoming president of the athletic Besançon Ring, a club from which champions like Khedafi Djelkhir, silver medalist at the Beijing Olympics, have emerged. in 2008. The club is also very involved in the life of the neighborhood.

Devotes himself to research on Georges Carpentier

However, he abandoned this exciting function in 2018 to devote himself to his research on Georges Carpentier … The subject was brought to his attention by his thesis director, Paul Dietschy, a football historian. “I knew Georges Carpentier, but I was far from suspecting that he had been so popular in his time”, until incarnating the figure of national hero at the beginning of the XXe century. The boxer has yet disappeared from collective memory despite his exceptional career. “He started a professional career at age 14, four years later, he had more than 80 fights. By comparison, a boxer like the American Floyd Mayweather was in his 40s at the end of his career, at age 40. “

This unimaginable record today leads Stéphane Hadjeras to suggest that boxing is one of the few sports that has regressed physically and technically. “And for good reason, at the time of Georges Carpentier, the golden age of English boxing in France, the fights were more numerous, more trying. They also lasted much longer, twenty rounds against ten today, the gloves were much lighter, the bandages harder … In the ring, a boxer had to avoid a knockout. Boxing’s flagship rule, touch without being touched, made sense at the time. Those who lasted, like Georges Carpentier, excelled in the art of dodging, ultimately taking less risk than contemporary boxers. “

Passionate about its subject, Stéphane Hadjeras brought it to the attention of the general public through a book (1).


His inspiration. Ernest Hemingway, a writer who took risks

A sentence from Ernest Hemingway feeds Stéphane Hadjeras’s reflection: “We have to get used to it: at the most important crossroads in our lives, there are no signs. ““He’s a writer I discovered when I was a teenager, he recounts. I find it fascinating. His style of writing “punch”. His reading of human relationships. His life made up of actions and commitments. Agitation, as he said. His love of danger and extreme sports. Boxing. His hymn to virility. Its dark side, its bon vivant side. All this fascinates and inspires me on a daily basis. He is one of those writers that I love to read and reread, because they wet the jersey, to use a sporting metaphor, they got involved and took risks. “



Team sports are taking over the field of soft practices

The affair, for a long time, was heard. To get back to sport late in the day, or simply to talk without hurting your body too much, you didn’t have to look very far: focus on gentle disciplines, from Nordic walking to water aerobics, including yoga or all the sports. variants of indoor fitness. Sometimes group exercises, of course, but individual practices, always.

→ EXPLANATION. Covid-19: how to safely resume indoor sport?

This movement, accelerated by the multiple campaigns on “healthy sport”, the collective disciplines do not intend to let it pass. Even if the approach is not obvious at the start, because competition is not the alpha and omega of the practice; and that it is a question of addressing an audience of seniors, rather neglected until then.

Finally offer offers to seniors

Take football, for example. The story was played out at the end of 2017, in the Orne. On the side of Alençon more exactly, where Yannick Rouault then takes care of the football section at the Sports and Gymnastics Federation of Labor (FSGT). He has just discovered “walking football” in England, a football by walking which appeals to the over-50s across the Channel, with more than 1,000 clubs across the country. Prohibited from running, dribbling on obviously smaller grounds, in teams of five, trying to keep the ball as much as possible on the ground, the game seems ideal to this sixty-year-old who manages to organize a first meeting in June 2018.

“Other poles developed at the same time at the FSGT, in particular in Marseille and in Brittany, says Yannick Rouault. The advantage is that walking football also makes it possible to easily integrate disabled people and to develop co-education. In my club, out of about thirty members, there are five women. It’s very friendly, fun, it is aimed at people who have never played like former footballers who could no longer express themselves in a club. It remains to promote the discipline, to see the numbers swell. “

The FSGT does with its means, which are obviously not those of the French Football Federation (FFF). The latter has finally turned to this football while walking, which she looked down on when she first started out. “We realized that while we were very dynamic in our offers for people under 18, we were far behind seniors compared to other European countries., recognizes Patrick Pion, deputy national technical director of the FFF. We therefore offer several practices such as golf football (in which we replace the golf ball with a ball, editor’s note) and football while walking, which are a priority for us. We are going to distribute educational materials, train educators, because there are still only about a hundred clubs. “

Skills to look for

A certain enthusiasm, but still limited compared to the potential: this is the conviction of Chrystel Bernou, this time at the French Volleyball Federation, with the “soft volley” that she has been promoting for four years. A volley that this technical framework went to seek in Japan where the practice is paradoxically very oriented towards competition. For France, with this volleyball in teams of four, on a smaller field, a net only 2 m high, and a larger and softer ball, Chrystel Bernou wants to address seniors first. “Because, like the other federations, we still have a shortage of offers for the over 40s”.

As often, to adopt a gentle practice, you just have to test it. “Soft volley”, like certain adapted basketball formulas, is gaining supporters. “In the clubs where it takes, it takes very hard with very quickly dozens of participants”, says Chrystel Bernou. Which also raises limits. “Everything happens at the same time in the clubs: leisure sport, health sport, parasport, etc. It’s complicated to find niches in gyms to bring all these activities to life, with competent people to lead them. “

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Attracting more seniors can however be a means of integrating into clubs a population capable of becoming involved as volunteers, or even as leaders. This is an issue that Patrick Pion takes into account at the FFF: “There is a reserve of skills there that we can use to found the club of tomorrow: a club really open to the whole family, where everyone can contribute to make a place of total life. “


Touch rugby, contactless rugby

Seniors are not necessarily the priority audience of the National Touch Rugby Federation, born in 2001 by importing this rugby of Australian origin which is played without veneer and without scrum. Because this avoidance game, of which the premier category is mixed, remains very demanding for its practitioners (2,000 in around 70 clubs). Nevertheless: in a context where the bad contacts of the traditional XV have more and more tendency to frighten, “We also have quadras and fifties in our clubs who can thus keep in contact with the oval”, underlines Thibault Zettel, federal responsible for development, who does not however speak of “soft practice”. The latter regrets the lack of exchanges with the French Rugby Federation, which is focused on a fairly similar variant, V-rugby, a French exception.



League of Nations: the Blues revive the beautiful color of victory

When two great teams live up to their talent, football can provide a dazzling spectacle. France and Spain played at a very high level in the final of the League of Nations, this Sunday, October 10 in Milan. And a meeting without major stake in a competition with blunt relief made a duel with daggers drawn, ended with a stunning scenario and a magnificent victory of the Blues (2-1).

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After a first half full of tension and tactical movements leaving little room for the expression of the artists, each engaged in efficient but grueling pressing, everything was packed after the hour of play. crazy, in just two minutes, started with a lightning attack from the Blues ended with a strike from Theo Hernandez which crashed into the Spanish crossbar. The best opportunity for the Blues, but the opposite goes very quickly to give an additional hand to the Spaniards. Who, in the same minute, open the scoring.

Jet Blues

The Blues can be knocked out, but no. It is quite the opposite which occurs, and immediately the men of Didier Deschamps retort with their rebel in chief: Karim Benzema. With a curled shot, the attacker finds the Spanish skylight, and as in the semi-final against Belgium (3-2), sounds the tricolor revolt. The rest is a feast of Kylian Mbappé passing his legs, the Spaniards who do not abdicate, two decisive stops by Hugo Lloris, and the Blues who take the trophy for the second edition of the event.

They thus end a very chaotic year. After the astonishing return of the ban Karim Benzema in the spring, an extremely disappointing Euro with the Blues often well below their potential and their claimed ambition, the start of the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign revealing at the return of the Blues as emptied of all substance, Didier Deschamps’ men attacked this week dedicated to the last four of the League of Nations in an atmosphere where absolute confidence was not hovering.

Apparently lost players, a coach weighing much less than in the past, perhaps seeming at the end of the line: after 45 catastrophic minutes of the first duel of this Nations League against Belgium, with a scathing 0-2 in the table of ‘display, all the commentators were already sharpening their pens to tell the doldrums in which the France team was bathed. And the shadow of Zinédine Zidane already hovering above the Blues, because it needed at least that, a providential man, to raise the bar tomorrow.

An attack finally effective

Except that words were exchanged in the locker room between these Blues who were only a shadow of themselves. Didier Deschamps, Paul Pogba, Hugo Lloris, in turn, spoke hard, but fair. They whipped up common pride, and the same suddenly found themselves so different to offer a staggering turnaround.

The final against Spain did not obey the same scenario, but it was once again the Blues in reaction who provided the show. As if this team had to be stung before asserting its character. Victory undoubtedly does not solve everything and does not offer total guarantees for the continuation of the 2022 adventure. The offensive capacities of the famous Mbappé-Benzema-Griezmann trio are finally expressed, even if Antoine Griezmann still appears a tone below these two teammates.

For the first time since the epic on the roof of the world in Russia in 2018, something really emerges from this French team. Something that looks like a newfound confidence, a truly shared involvement. The angry fist, then the big smile of Didier Deschamps at the end of the meeting speak well of the relief of the man. He too must be fully revitalized, before attacking what should be his last year in office until the World Cup in Qatar. Strongly the continuation.