Before the Olympics, sport as a tool for social innovation

Ibrahim is suspended at a height of about 15 meters, showing a bright smile. He didn’t hesitate for a moment, and he tackled the climbing wall without trembling, and after reaching the top of the wall, he tapped into the sight without the slightest dazedness. It is clear that the descent, well fastened in his belt, is very fast, but he must leave a place for his comrades.

They are six students from Sylvain-Duriac Primary School in Bagatelle, a popular district of Toulouse, to perform their group in discipline, on Wednesday afternoon, at the Quéfets gymnasium in Tournefeuille, on the outskirts of the Pink City. But it is already a small revolution, made possible thanks to Paris 2024.

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The project in which these children are participating is part of the “Impact 2024” program, which over the past two years has been supporting initiatives implemented by many players, athletes and institutions. An endowment fund has been established for this purpose. In 2021, 4.9 million euros were spent on 224 projects. They will be around 250 this year to share an envelope of 5.8 million euros.

“Through our brand, we provide a vision for projects that should show how sport can change lives, Damien Compredit-Blassel, Director of Sport and Society, Paris 2024 confirms. We also want them to help get the different actors into the habit of working together and that these good practices will take root after the games if possible. »

broadening horizons

The project of the Occitanie League of the French Federation of Mountains and Climbing, which awarded 42 thousand euros, bears this ambition. “It starts from the desire to introduce young people from the neighborhoods to our discipline, away from their anxieties, to broaden their horizons by taking them to the mountains,” exposes Anne Gernaert, director of the FFME Regional Association.

Initially, the desire was to connect the schools of two neighborhoods with priority for city policy (QPV), Bagatelle in Toulouse and Le Padre in Tarbes (Hautes-Pyrenees), and to allow regular exchanges in locations that provide access to the many joys of the mountains (hiking, climbing, via ferrata, etc.).

But the realization testifies to the difficulties encountered in this type of project. “We misjudged the neighborhood health card resistance, and so we weren’t able to launch the process in the fall of 2021 with middle school students, because they didn’t have access to gyms,” Explains Anne Gernaert.

At the end of the winter, after starting work on a portable climbing building in college which had had some success, more than a hundred students showed an interest in it. But when planning a trip to Tournefeuille’s World Climbing Wall, We fell in Ramadan and only the Taliban attended. She also tells Ethel Barnaby, a former college CPE and veteran climber on the project’s origins. So we turned to CM1-CM2 for elementary school who took advantage of the windfall! “.

“Encouraging perseverance, the main challenge”

On the Tarbes side, the opening of the new climbing wall was postponed by six months which also delayed the project. The promoters are in the building blocks to really bring it back to life from the start of the next school year. “It is a long task to attract young people and also convince parents to trust us, Little Ethel Barnaby. In our territory, long-term recording of an activity requires a great deal of energy. Encouraging perseverance is our main challenge. »

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In Tarbes, Marilyn Marge, who is in charge of the project and a member of the Roc & Pyrène club, wants to add another dimension to the issue: persuading some mothers, as well as young people. “To form a group of women and ultimately succeed in a joint challenge to ascend in the summer of 2023, Explains the host, who also works on city politics. There are many obstacles to overcome, particularly the cultural weight that does not facilitate women’s access to sports in these neighbourhoods, but I want to believe in it. I hope to make it clear through this pilot that it is possible, and to inspire other clubs. » Experimenting and then expanding, this is the challenge facing Paris 2024.


Doing Better About Disability

Through its Impact programme, Paris 2024 also hopes to excite “Interesting leverage effect”Its director, Damien Compredit Blasell, says: “When we invest 1 euro, we can collect 3 euros from other partners.” Since 2020, Paris 2024 has benefited from its program of 700,000 beneficiaries. – An attempt to continue, and to highlight the projects of access to sports for the disabled, ‘Currently our weak point’recognizes the delegate general. “Disability related projects require a lot of time, specific skills and equipment, which explains why they are so difficult to highlight, Hint Apolline Vedrenne, Paralympian reference in Occitania. But Paris 2024 should focus specifically on disabled sports next year. »

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