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Sports

Le Graët, Laporte… How to change the governance of sports federations?



► “The rather conservative world of sport is difficult to move”

William Gaspariniprofessor of sociology and sports sciences at the University of Strasbourg, specialist in sports governance

“The difficulties experienced by Presidents Noël Le Graët and Bernard Laporte in their football and rugby federations obviously raise the question of the evolution of governance within these institutions. But it is a cyclic questioning. In 2021, the renewal of presidents after the pandemic had already been the subject of a debate on the age of leaders and feminization… which had not prevented the broad re-election of Noël Le Graët, at 79 years old. The average age of sports leaders is still 64, although some federations have experienced a slight rejuvenation. In the end, there are only two women presidents out of 36 Olympic federations.

The question of the opacity of decision-making also comes up often, as does the absence of a limit to the number of terms served by the same president. These managerial techniques from another age appear to be out of step with the needs of more modern governance. The methods of internal appointment are also to be reviewed, because the elections often reveal a formal democracy, theoretical more than real. The cooptation system generally lacks transparency. In a general assembly of a departmental or regional committee, elected by the clubs, we often always find the same people, those who have time and are retired, out of step with the mass of young graduates. But without them, often volunteers, it must also be emphasized that the associative movement would not work.

Can the state reform this governance? We see it with the Le Graët case, he can actually demand accountability, since it is the State which delegates public service to the federations. But the latter are also very attentive to their autonomy and the State cannot interfere too much in their affairs. Above all, he cannot afford a general crisis with the sports movement within two years of the Olympic Games. In the case of football, the ministry is therefore calling on the authorities to move, in this case the executive committee of the federation, but I do not believe that the government is ready to go further.

He knows, however, that France is also watched with the organization of the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the Games in Paris in 2024, and therefore he cannot let the image of sport continue to deteriorate. But the ridge line is hard to find. The rather conservative sports world is difficult to move. Ideally, the reform should come from the base, from athletes and clubs. But sport is not the sector of commitment and activism. So I don’t really believe it. »

► “The State cannot intervene in the internal management of a federation”

Bernard FoucherDoctor of Laws and President of the Federal Ethics Committee for French Rugby

“You have to keep in mind that the federations are associations under the 1901 law. The French Football Federation has its statutes, its members, like any association. The difficulty is that sport is a public service, which therefore comes under state management. The latter delegates its power to the federations, but retains a right of inspection, a power of supervision. The whole ambiguity is knowing how to combine the autonomy of associations and the powers that the state has. I believe that the difficulty lies in this duality.

The State officially recognizes associations and federations through approvals and delegations. It can impose a common framework so that the statutes of the federations conform to a standard statute. And, to obtain the delegation and the approval, it is necessary that the statutes are in conformity with the standard statute which the State imposes. The only thing that the State can do is therefore withdraw the approval and consider that the federation it wishes to sanction is no longer recognized as the depository of the right conferred on it by the State. But doing that is the atomic bomb assured. Furthermore, the State cannot intervene in the internal management of a federation. Only members of the federation can.

The law of March 2, 2022, aimed at democratizing sport in France, sought to impose more democratic governance on federations through these standard statutes. In particular with a limitation of mandates, the creation of ethics committees or the prevention of conflicts of interest. The federations are brought, if they want to preserve their approval, to be always in conformity with their statute.

Furthermore, each federation can adopt its own provisions without waiting for the law. There are systems that preceded what the law of 2022 imposed in terms of prevention. In the event of a problem, the ethics committee could intervene, but it all depends on how it works, which is specific to each federation. Regarding the rugby ethics committee, we do not have the possibility of making binding decisions. What we can do is give opinions, recommendations, injunctions, like asking someone to step back. You can also go to the Disciplinary Committee.

This is a real subject and it is an object of reflection with the State and the Minister of Sports: how to improve the functioning and the role of the ethics committees? The law made these mandatory in 2022, but how are they made? Are they really independent, with a minimum of power? It varies a lot from one federation to another. »

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Sports

Football: Al-Nassr, Cristiano Ronaldo’s new club and showcase of Saudi sporting ambitions



Recruited after being sacked from his previous club Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo, 37, was officially presented Tuesday, January 3 in his new Saudi team of Al-Nassr FC. Five times winner of the Ballon d’Or, the Portuguese has signed up until 2025, for a staggering salary of 200 million euros per year. He will find several heads known in Europe in the locker room of the current second in the Saudi Arabian championship.

► Several recognized players in France

If the workforce includes local players for the most part, several international footballers renowned in Europe, and in particular in France, have been recruited during the last transfer window. As goalkeeper, we find the former Nice (from 2008 to 2014) and Colombian international David Ospina.

The defense and the midfield are provided by two former Marseillais: the Spaniard Alvaro Gonzalez (2019-2022) and the Brazilian Luiz Gustavo (2017-2019). And in attack, “CR7” will be associated with Cameroonian striker Vincent Aboubakar, former center forward of Valenciennes (2010-2013) and FC Lorient (2013-2014).

► And famous coaches

All these players are managed by Rudi Garcia, former coach of Olympique de Marseille (2016-2019) and Olympique Lyonnais (2019-2021). Recruited last June, the Frenchman joins the long line of illustrious foreign coaches of Al-Nassr, including Fabio Cannavaro, winner of the Ballon d’Or in 2006, and Artur Jorge, former coach of Portugal and Switzerland.

► A well-stocked trophy cabinet

“Victory” in Arabic, Al-Nassr has 27 titles since its creation in 1955. Among them, two Gulf Cups of champion clubs and nine Saudi Arabian championships, the last of which dates back to 2019.

His rival club, Al-Hilal, also based in the Saudi capital, has won the last three editions and thus dominates Saudi football.

► Cristiano Ronaldo, headliner for Saudi ambitions

With the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, the oil monarchy intends to continue to develop its investments in sport, to improve its image in the West and diversify its activities. Following the model of its neighbor Qatar, the Saudi Football Federation has submitted a joint bid with Egypt and Greece to host the 2030 World Cup, as part of its “Vision 2030” plan.

The Portuguese superstar could thus be a showcase for this candidacy, as were for Qatar Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé, teammates at Paris Saint-Germain, held by a Qatari fund.

► Financial benefits and popularity

The fallout from the signing, made official on December 30, is already being felt by the Al-Nassr club. In recent days, fans and expatriates in the Saudi capital have rushed to the club’s shops to get a blue and yellow jersey, flocked with the name of the star and his emblematic number 7.

On social networks, the operation is also proving to be a winner: the number of subscribers on the club’s official Instagram account has increased from 800,000 to 7.8 million. Ten times more in less than a week. For “CR7”, all that remains is to make an impression on the field.

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Sports

Team sports: why is France so successful?



► It is the result of a system that is both public and associative

Emmanuelle Bonnet Oulaldj, co-president of the Sports and Gymnastics Federation of Labor (FSGT)

If we look closely at the results of recent years, France is world champion in team sports, at least in our sports, since there are sports that are not practiced in France. In all disciplines, it’s a bit the same recipes that work, thanks to the quality of the detection and training of young athletes.

It is difficult to distinguish one sport from another, but the French Handball Federation has succeeded in leading girls and boys to an Olympic gold medal, by putting the same means for women and men. .

We can also see in these successes the effects of the policy of high-level training that was put in place in the 1970s and 1980s. This has allowed part of French sport, in particular the collective disciplines, to build long-term strategies, which is essential. But the whole challenge for a sports federation is both to work on the next generation and to support the best, without putting anyone aside. I think it’s important not to cut high performance out of social practice. If we take the case of Great Britain, it certainly won a lot of medals at the London Games in 2012, but sport for all has not developed there.

Local authority support for small clubs

After the disappointing results of the Tokyo Olympics, the President of the Republic spoke of a form of privatization of the preparation of the next Olympics, saying that it is not public money that makes the results. I think, on the contrary, that if we privatize support for high performance, we will destroy this system which has worked and which is the result of a real public policy. It is a system that is both public and associative. Behind all this, there is an important issue: the support of local authorities for small clubs, which may be endangered with the increase in inflation and the fact that communities will have to refocus on their so-called “essential” expenses. “. Amateur sport risks suffering from this, while the base has already been abused during the Covid. Some volunteers never resumed their activities afterwards.

As far as football is concerned, it is obvious that the training system there produces excellent results. But it can also produce kids who will quit football early, because they aren’t deemed good enough. Before, many clubs had 2, 3 or 4 teams for these age categories, and there are fewer and fewer of them. This is precisely the role of my federation, to welcome all children. We really have to continue what has been done for the high level, but also support community life. Otherwise, we create inequalities.

► Generations rely on each other

Paoline Ekambi, former captain of the French basketball team (254 appearances), co-founder of Sportail Community

In France, I think we make a special effort to pass on the heritage of our sports, so that there is continuity between generations. We are part of a collective history where we follow in the wake of each other. As a handball spectator, I followed the exploits of the Barjots, the first French team to have won a world championship title in a collective sport, after which there were the Experts… In football, the generation of 1998 also was founding for the following champions, until the current team of France. It’s a long process.

For basketball, my generation (European vice-champion in 1993) represented the revival, passing from the semi-professional level to the professional level. Before us, the Demoiselles de Clermont were all amateurs. I was the second black player in the history of the France team. I was then part of the first promotions of sport-studies at Insep. Then, diversity has continued to enrich the range of talents. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, players from the former Soviet bloc, who dominated Europe, came to expand our championships. To the west, Italy and Spain were stronger. Then came Americans and players from sub-Saharan Africa, who brought a lot.

Early detection

At 14 and a half, I was discovered via the very first course reserved for large sizes. We were bigger players than our elders, and the girls who followed us gradually approached standards that could compete with the Americans. The same movement took place for the boys, with perhaps more media coverage, because the matches began to be broadcast on television on Canal+. Basketball owes a lot, for example, to presenter George Eddy, and to the exploits of the Dream Team.

I was the first Frenchwoman to play in the NCAA, the American university championship, but after me at the pivot position, there was Isabelle Fijalkowski, today a technical manager, and the first Frenchwoman to play in the WNBA. Clinics, which involved technical executives from the United States, have multiplied for the detection of talent.

Finally, all the expertise was added: physical and mental preparation, food hygiene… I think we should continue this momentum in the years to come. In Germany or the United States, sport and the world of school are one. In France, the mind and the body are still two things too often treated separately. It is indeed high time, even if we set ourselves the objective, to integrate sport into the development of the individual, and this from an early age.

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Between France and England, decades of sporting rivalries



Every year, it’s impossible for oval ball fans to skip this event. For more than a hundred years, the “Crunch“, the meeting between the French and the English between the rugby posts during the Six Nations Tournament, exacerbates the historic rivalry between the two countries separated by the Channel.

If in football the spirit of competition is not as lively, several confrontations between the two selections have taken place, in particular in the World Cup where the outcome has systematically been favorable to the “perfidious Albion”. While the France team is playing its place in the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup against the “Three Lions”, a look back at some significant sporting encounters between French and English.

English winners of the duels in the Football World Cup

On Saturday, France will have the opportunity to cast out its demons and win its first match in the World Cup against the English neighbor. Twice, the Blues have lost in the past, each time during the group stages. The first time in 1966, with a score of 2-0, in London, in a World Cup where the English won their one and only star.

The second confrontation, in 1982 in Bilbao, ended in a 3-1 score in favor of the Three Lions. The French team, however better armed on paper with Michel Platini, Marius Trésor and Alain Giresse in its ranks, still does not manage to get the best of its historical rival.

1977, a rugby match that turns into a butcher’s shop

It’s been a century that French and English face each other in international football competitions. But their rivalry is sublime oval ball in hand. Sometimes to the point of degenerating. On February 19, 1977, the two teams faced each other in the English stadium of Twinckenham on the occasion of the Five Nations Tournament (Italy only joined in 2000).

This match remains without doubt one of the roughest on the European scene. Even before kick-off, the tone is set: the French are booed and are the target of spitting. Fouls rained down throughout the game. English newspapers occasionally rename the XV of France “the savage horde”. The Blues won with a narrow score of 4 to 3 (a try was worth 4 points at the time) and won the competition.

In 1991, “the test of the century”

If the “Crunch” of 1991 gave birth to an English victory (21-19), it is a French action that remains in the memories. Following a missed penalty, Frenchman Pierre Berbizier recovers the ball. Rather than flattening him in his in-goal, he alerts his captain Serge Blanco who rushes and passes the ball, which after two passes arrives in the hands of Didier Camberabero. He lobbed a defender and at the end of a dazzling acceleration sent a pass to the foot for Philippe Saint-André who only had to register the try between the posts, after an action of 110 meters. Even the English supporters applaud.

In total, French and English have been opposed 109 times during the Six Nations Tournament. The record remains in favor of the British: 60 wins against 42 and seven draws. Symbol of historical English domination: the Blues have not won a single match at Twickenham for fifteen years. The last victory dates back to 2005 when France, coached by Bernard Laporte, snatched a narrow victory, 18 to 17.

Euro 2004, Zidane changes the course of the match

On this Sunday, June 13, 2004, French footballers are on the verge of elimination. Led 1-0 against the English selection, the Blues are in a bad position, in stoppage time in the round of 16 of the European championship which took place that year in Lisbon.

A foul committed by the Three Lions at the entrance to the surface is about to change the course of the match. Zinédine Zidane, number 10 in the back, seizes the ball to take the free kick, which he places on the right of the goal, out of reach of David James. 1-1.

As both teams headed straight for extra time, an ill-fitting pass from Frank Lampard for his keeper was intercepted by Blues star striker Thierry Henry. The latter scored the winning goal in the last seconds of the match, reversing the course of a match that seemed to have escaped France. This will not prevent the defeat of the Blues in the quarter-finals against Greece, future winner of the tournament (1-0).

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Sports

BeIN Sports to the challenge of a World Cup at home



It is a fiercely guarded fortress in the heart of Doha, where you have to show your credentials several times to armed guards to hope to enter. On the welcome screens, before entering one of the nine television studios and the control rooms spread over ten square kilometres, a slogan sums up the Qatari vision of the Football World Cup: “One world, one home” (one world, one house). Welcome to BeIN Media Group, a Qatari group of international media headed by the boss of PSG Nasser Al-Khelaïfi and parent company of BeIN Series, BeIN Movie, BeIN Gourmet… and therefore of BeIN Sports, where this world of excess is experienced as a real test.

“Our pride is at stake”

“We have experience, this is the third football World Cup that we have covered since our creation. But for this one, expectations are higher, recognizes Jassim al-Muftah, communications director of BeIN Group. Our pride as Qataris is at stake.”

Having become in a few years an epicenter of sports television broadcasting, BeIN broadcasts in around forty countries spread over five continents, and in seven different languages. In France alone, where it was launched in 2012, the paid package holds the exclusivity of 36 of the 64 World Cup matches. Since November 20, around a hundred French journalists and technicians out of the 300 from BeIN France have also joined the Qatari studios to broadcast from Doha. “We know that not everyone can come to Qatar to see the matches, so the pressure from the audience is enormous”adds Jassim al-Muftah, crossing one of the 800 square meter studios, changed from the colors of the Champions League to those of the World Cup in a few days.

A very political world

In Doha, the BeIN empire adjoins the other jewel of the soft-power Qatari, Al-Jazeera. The two groups are intimately linked: BeIN Médias is an offshoot of Al-Jazira Sports, created in 2003 and renamed a few months later. Despite these organic links, Al-Jazeera has little more broadcasting privileges than a traditional channel. Business is business.

Unlike its generalist elder, often accused of being the voice of Qatari power abroad, BeIN Sports wants to be apolitical. What if a player speaks out about human rights on air? “We will see on a case-by-case basis.answers Duncan Walkinshaw, director of programs for the Middle East and North Africa. “But I’ve been here for 12 years and nobody ever told me not to show this or that, assures this former Sky News. We cover football and how sport brings everyone together. »

fear of piracy

In addition to the image challenge, after the multiple criticisms suffered by Fifa and the Supreme World Organizing Committee, the channel which claims to have more than 55 million subscribers worldwide, especially fears piracy and cyberattacks during the competition. In France alone, some 4 million people watch it illegally. “The biggest threat to our industry is data theft and hacking, admits Duncan Walkinshaw. We are pioneers in the fight against attacks of this type, the group has made enormous investments to protect copyright. » The channel remembers the annoying precedent “beoutQ”, the ironic name of the Saudi pirate media which had hacked and broadcast all BeIN programs in clear, between August 2017 and August 2018, and therefore during the Football World Cup in Russia , in the midst of the Gulf crisis between Qatar and its neighbors.

Past the stress of competition – “rather a surge of adrenaline”, corrects Jassim al-Muftah – BeIN is planning for the post-World Cup. The group is eyeing new rights to acquire, which is already the largest buyer on the planet, with a portfolio valued between 10 to 15 billion dollars. After the broadcasting rights for European football championships such as the German Bundesliga until 2025, the Spanish Liga until 2024, the group is positioning itself on the broadcasting of major international competitions, particularly women’s. “We have the largest portfolio of rights in women’s sports leagues and we continue to acquire them,” slips Duncan Walkinshaw. The issue of the image is never far away for a media that hopes ” present Qatar as a model”.

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Supporting the retraining of high-level sportswomen



It has now been a year since Alexia Dubié left the basketball courts to devote herself to her professional retraining in the field of fashion. She launched her online sales site for women’s ready-to-wear, jewelry and everyday objects in March 2022. Next objective: to open a physical store, within one to two years.

It was to be supported in this entrepreneurial journey that she decided to follow the mentoring program just created by Banque Palatine, intended for high-level sportswomen preparing for their retraining.

“Like the entrepreneur, an athlete needs to surround himself with a good team”

“Women’s sport is under-mediatized compared to men’s competitions, regrets Patrick Ibry, Deputy CEO of Banque Palatine. This situation is somewhat the mirror of professional life, where women leaders are still in the minority. »

The observation is also confirmed in the retraining of sportswomen. “Men manage to convert better than women, notes former professional cyclist Séverine Desbouys, who co-created the program alongside Patrick Ibry. Athletes do not value their high-level career as much as sportsmen. I don’t know if it’s a cultural obstacle, but in fact, we designed this program to “dare” with and for them, so that their backgrounds and skills constitute the basis for the success of their project”. continues the one who created DSC, a consulting firm in strategy and economic intelligence.

Alexia Dubié is part of the first promotion. “Entrepreneurship has always appealed to me, she remembers, but putting it into practice is complicated, and I feel the need to benefit from the experience of mentors and to acquire skills. »

On the menu for these nine months of mentorship: skills assessment, collective workshops on the basics of entrepreneurship, individual meetings to deepen and communicate on her project, weave her new professional network… For Séverine Desbouys, the parallel between the sports world and the business world speaks volumes. “Like the entrepreneur, an athlete needs to surround himself with a good team, and everything is played out for him in action, on the field. Both also need to know how to bounce back from failure. »

Acquire company codes

International sprinter Coralie Gassama has not yet hung up her shoes. “Entrepreneurship, I didn’t know what it was two years ago, but I realize that it fits very well with my personality and my training in sports management. I want to optimize everything, to maximize my chances as soon as possible,” says this athlete who created protective insoles for athletic spikes.

Each athlete benefits from the advice of the program’s mentors. Anne-Flore Maman Larraufie is one of them. This Saint-Cyrienne converted into civilian life, who also accompanies former officers, knows what she is talking about. “In the army, you are told what to do, how and when… When you find yourself in a more ‘classic’ world, you feel a little helpless, less surrounded. Not to mention the codes of business creation…”, testifies the one who is today director of SémioConsult and academic director at ESSEC.

Acquiring the codes of the company is essential, adds another mentor, Françoise Derolez, of the recruitment and consulting firm Grant Alexander. “You have to know how to reach a market, adapt your project if the first results are not up to par…” A spirit of transmission that “speaks” to sportswomen.

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In team sports, the mental coach still has to find his place



The Blues in silver during their recent Euro and the Blue in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, Thursday, September 29 in Australia? If the French teams are rather good in their basketball, it may have something to do with it: before the Tokyo Games, Richard Ouvrard had accompanied the coaches of the two national basketball teams, who had completed their fortnight silver (men) and bronze (women).

Since then, the “mental coach” has started working with the players, still in its infancy but already paying off. “A global psychosocial approach, with very rich interpersonal processes, because I have relationships with everyone: the national technical director of the French federation, the technical and medical management of the teams, the groups of playershe explains. It is a systemic work that we must continue until the meeting of Paris 2024. “

Trainer Sensitivity

Richard Ouvrard is not his first experience with tricolor collectives. He muscled the mind of the Blue handball before the Rio Games and until the triumph of those in Tokyo. A more obvious success than his fifteen months of collaboration with the Bleues du football for the 2019 World Cup, without a future for lack of osmosis between the expert and the coach Corinne Deacon. And this is the limit of the intervention of a mental trainer within a collective: “It still really depends on the sensitivity of the coach. It is often he who is convinced or not of the interest of integrating a specialist or not, “ underlines Christian Penigaud, former European champion of beach volleyball (in 1993) then federal technician converted into mental coaching, called for three years alongside the French women’s volleyball team.

Do the 2024 Games in Paris push the federations to better arm themselves? “The awareness of France’s delay in this area is real, but acquiring this tool is not yet systematictestifies Laurent Chambertin, 350 selections with the Blues of volleyball between 1986 and 2001, today mental coach integrated into the high performance cell of Insep. There are still resistances: to call on an expert is to recognize a weakness. So no: it’s just wanting to improve performance. »

This difficulty, Christian Penigaud observes in the training he delivers to coaches within his federation: “There is still a lot of misunderstanding about our work, and when coaches experience a collaboration, they often tell me either it went wrong or they didn’t know what was really going on. the mental trainer. » The place of the expert within the collective is in fact a key issue. “Integrating a community with its rites and its language is not easy and you have to work upstreamsays Richard Ouvrard. Because the main thing is to be able to regulate information and emotions to make human relations more fluid. »

The performance-personality tandem

What is at stake is not always obvious, to the point that the concept of “invisible training” is sometimes evoked. “I try to work concretely on things that can be seen and measuredloose Christian Penigaud, rather reserved. It’s about improving performance, something quantifiable. » Laurent Chambertin insists on the performance-personality tandem, “without splitting the two, and insisting on sustainability so that the athletes take ownership of the work and are autonomous behind it, to promote the turnover of the workforce, for example”. However, the intervention of the mental trainer should not necessarily be too long, “to avoid habituation and a guru phenomenon”, warns the specialist.

The field is vast, and no doubt 2024 is not the ultimate deadline. “We can also talk about heritage in this areaconcludes Laurent Chambertin. Train our young people by giving them time to understand and acquire good practices, and give them a head start for Los Angeles 2028.”

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Companies: supporting the retraining of high-level sportswomen



It has now been a year since Alexia Dubié left the floors of professional basketball to devote herself to her professional retraining in the field of fashion. She launched her online sales site for women’s ready-to-wear, jewelry, accessories and everyday objects in March 2022. Next objective: to open a physical store, within one to two years.

It was to be accompanied in her first steps as an entrepreneur that she decided to follow the mentoring program just created by Banque Palatine, which specializes in supporting ETIs (mid-sized companies) for sportswomen. high level preparing for their retraining. And this just two years before the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, and while Olympic Day was held at the Stade de France on Sunday June 26.

Men convert better than women

“Women’s sport in general, and high-level sport in particular, is under-reported compared to men’s competitions, regrets Patrick Ibry, Deputy CEO of Banque Palatine. This situation is somewhat the mirror of professional life, where women leaders are still in the minority. »

The observation is also confirmed in professional sports retraining. “Men manage to convert better than women, notes former professional cyclist Séverine Desbouys, who co-created the program alongside Patrick Ibry. Athletes do not value their high-level career as much as sportsmen, once the competition is over. I don’t know if it’s a cultural obstacle, but in fact, we designed this program to “dare” with and for them, so that their backgrounds and skills constitute the basis for the success of their project”. continues the one who created DSC, a consulting firm in strategy and economic intelligence.

Alexia Dubié is part of the first promotion. “Entrepreneurship has always appealed to me, she remembers, but putting it into practice is complicated, and I feel the need to benefit from the experience of mentors and to acquire skills. »

Sporting world and business world

On the program for these nine months of mentoring: skills assessment, collective workshops to acquire the basics of entrepreneurship, individual meetings to deepen and communicate on your own project, start to weave your new professional network… “We help them get to know each other, also depending on their sporting discipline…”, emphasizes Séverine Desbouys. In his eyes, the parallel between the world of sport and the world of business speaks volumes. “An athlete is a business in itself. Like the entrepreneur, he needs to surround himself with a good team, and everything is played out for him in action, on the ground. Both also need to know how to bounce back from failure. »

As in the life of a high-level athlete, the pace of the program is intended to be sustained and adapted to the needs of each athlete, depending in particular on whether she has already ended her career or is still in the world of competition.

This is the case of Coralie Gassama, an international sprinter who has not yet hung up her shoes. “Entrepreneurship, I didn’t know what it was two years ago, but I realize that it fits very well with my personality and my training in sports management. I want to optimize everything, to maximize my chances as soon as possible,” says this athlete who created protective insoles for athletic spikes.

Company codes

Each sportswoman benefits in particular from the advice of the mentors of the program. Anne-Flore Maman Larraufie is one of them. This Saint-Cyrienne converted into civilian life, who also accompanies former officers, knows what she is talking about. “In the army, you are told what to do, how and when… When you find yourself in a more ‘classic’ world, you feel a little helpless, less surrounded. Not to mention the codes and language of business creation…”, testifies the one who is today director of the MBA Business School at Essec. She shows her ambition to “to challenge the projects of sportswomen, to ask unpleasant questions to make them progress, like a trainer”.

Acquiring the codes of the company is essential, adds Françoise Derolez, at Grant Alexander – a recruitment and consulting firm –, also a mentor. “You have to know how to reach a market, adapt your project if the first results are not up to par…” This spirit of transmission “speaks” to sportswomen. “As a former playmaker, the notion of team is central to me”, insists Alexia Dubié. As for Coralie Gassama, if she sprints individually, she is no less “surrounded by caregivers, a coach, his family – without whom we can do nothing…”

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Urban sports, between Olympic integration and preserved identity



Twenty five years. The maturity that settles, and the full form that rides. In Montpellier, the International Extreme Sports Festival (Fise) is celebrating its quarter century of existence from this Wednesday, May 25 with drums and trumpets: 600,000 spectators are expected on the banks of the Lez to applaud nearly 2,000 “riders » BMX, skateboard and scooter specialists (read below).

→ EXPLANATION. These sports disciplines which apply equal pay for men and women

Acrobatics of all kinds, music at top speed, but also high-flying performances, the Fise in all its splendor, cantor of the development of these other sports also called “alternative”, “urban”, even “action sports”. Disciplines born in the street or on other playgrounds than traditional sports, which first claim a lifestyle and the absence of executives, but which for some years have come closer to the sports movement, until the recent integration of some of them into the Olympic Games, like skateboarding and BMX in Tokyo, “breaking” soon in Paris.

A new youth for the Olympic movement

The Fise is not for nothing in this evolution. The founder of the festival, Hervé André-Benoit, is one of its main architects and one of its best advocates. “For years, Fise and these sports have grown up in almost general indifference, he says. We were the rebels, unorganized, caricatural riders for the sports authorities. We had to professionalize ourselves to become credible, especially with sponsors and the media. »

→ REPORT. Paris 2024: before the Olympics, sport as a tool for social innovation

Twenty years later, urban sports follow the same path as the sliding sports emerging at the end of the 1980s, windsurfing, surfing, snowboarding. Disciplines that advocate freedom and pleasure above all, far from competitions and marked practices. But that the Olympic movement hastened in the 1990s to bring back into its fold. “And it is an inevitable phenomenon, judge the sociologist Thomas Riffaud, who went from a shy kid at the edge of skateparks to a roller-skating champion on the professional podiums. Sports appear on the fringes, but most don’t stay there. These are movements that experience a “sportification” with the establishment of understandable rules, essential to interest the general public and go beyond the community framework. »

Keeping an alternative culture alive

It was from 2014 that international federations and the International Olympic Committee took a closer look at these twirling urban sports. “Traditional sports bodies obey a real desire for rejuvenation, observes Hervé André-Benoit. It is obvious that nearly one out of two kids today tends to practice these sports. We cannot ignore them. » For the creator of Fise, skateboarding and BMX at the Games are pathfinders. “In skateparks today, 40% of practitioners are on scooters, he continues. And parkour (a kind of gymnastics which consists of overcoming obstacles in an urban environment, Editor’s note) is exploding. These two disciplines have their place for me at the Los Angeles Games in 2028, and Brisbane in 2032, two cities that are very focused on urban sports. »

This absorption by the dominant model is however still the subject of fiery discussions within the communities concerned. The risk of losing your soul, of being diluted in the great Olympic bath? Eternal debate. “If we look at the evolution of surfing, for example, we realize that there are now two populations that no longer have anything in common: seasoned athletes and surfers who are out of control, always in search of the ultimate wave. , comments Thomas Riffaud. Urban sports are now at a pivotal stage, with riders from both trends still coexisting. The Fise also sails on this crest line, with competitions of course, but seeking to maintain a living alternative culture. »

For Hervé André-Benoit, it is indeed a matter of pushing “a regulated practice, especially within skatepark academies, because a frame is something that reassures parents, but also to preserve free practice, because it’s our DNA”. A big gap which inevitably raises the question of the calibrated spectacle, especially for the Games. “You have to know what you are giving in or not in the process of Olympic normalization, emphasizes Thomas Riffaud. Be careful on the one hand not to expose riders who may not yet be athletes, and on the other not to offer competitions that are too smooth, erasing the exuberant spectacle of our disciplines, as was rather the case in Tokyo. » In short, a question of balance. But isn’t this the prerogative of aerobatic aces?

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Seven disciplines on the program

From May 25 to 29, seven disciplines are on the program of the International Festival of Extreme Sports (Fise).

Three are Olympic: BMX freestyle park and skateboarding present in Tokyo, and breaking (or breakdance) which will make their debut in 2024 in Paris.

The other four are inline skating, scootering, parkour and BMX flatland, which consists of chaining tricks on your bike without dismounting. The Fise has forged partnerships with certain international federations, such as the International Cycling Union or the International Gymnastics Federation, which enables the festival to host the BMX and parkour World Cup stages in particular.

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Categories
Sports

These sports disciplines which apply equal pay for men and women



It’s a great victory for women’s football. The American Soccer Federation announced on Wednesday May 18 that it had reached an agreement “historical” with the associations of players of its selections. This promises equal pay between the women’s team and the men’s team.

→ REREAD. 2019 World Cup: the great qualitative leap in women’s football

“The two collective agreements, which will run until 2028, make it possible to achieve equal wages through identical economic conditions”, details the federation a few months after the announcement of a preliminary agreement.

The federation (US Soccer) had been sued since 2019 by female soccer star Megan Rapinoe. Last February, she then agreed to pay the members of the women’s national team at the same level as those of the men’s team. An objective now written black on white in the new agreement.

► Nine national football federations apply equal pay

Before the United States, only eight out of 211 national federations had reached the milestone of equal pay in football. England, Australia, Brazil, Finland, Norway, New Zealand and the Netherlands, joined by Northern Ireland in September 2021, the latest country to have imposed parity.

“Players representing the Republic of Ireland senior women’s and men’s teams will receive the same match bonuses at international fixtures with immediate effect,” said the country’s football federation last August when it signed a groundbreaking agreement for Irish sport.

→ CHRONICLE. Of a football that is said to be feminine

The footballers of the men’s team had agreed to lower the amount received at each match in order to allow the women to receive the same amount of bonuses.

► Parity in international surfing competitions since 2019

Since 2019 all participants in world surfing competitions receive the same performance bonuses, regardless of gender. “This decision is simply the right decision to make. (…). We want to be at the forefront of pushing for equality in all areas of life,” had justified in September 2018 the World Surf League (WSL), organizer of the world professional surfing circuit.

→ THE FACTS. Tennis, Ashleigh Barty wins her first Australian Open

The decision was hailed at the time by the star of the discipline, the American Kelly Slater, crowned eleven times world champion: “Women surfers on the world circuit deserve this reform, I am so proud that surfing has chosen to lead by example in sport for equality and justice. »

► Tennis, wage parity at the four Grand Slam tournaments

On the most prestigious tennis courts, men and women receive the same match bonuses. With the adoption of parity measures by the Wimbledon (2007) and Roland-Garros (2006) tournaments, the four Grand Slam competitions offer the same prize money (earnings pocketed by competitors) to male and female tennis players. In the majority of other tournaments, however, the difference in earnings remains significant.

The London and Paris tournaments lagged far behind the US Open and the Australian Open which, since 1973 and 1984 respectively, have guaranteed all players similar gains.

→ REREAD. Faced with the pandemic, women’s sport “is in the tough”

In 1973, a triggering event came to shake up mentalities in the world of tennis, when the American champion Billie Jean King won a match in three sets against Bobby Riggs, a professional retired for more than ten years who then publicly proclaimed the inferiority women’s tennis versus men’s tennis. An episode that entered the history of tennis under the name of “The battle of the sexes”.

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