Sports and Studies: Motorcycle hopes are hampered by management problems


In some cantons, motorcycle talents have to choose between stopping their training or their passion. Because the Swiss Olympic is not recognized. decoding.

Friborg driver Kilian Nistola finished 11th and 9th in Estoril last weekend.


“Talent is someone who can be presumed to be able to (…) achieve success in elite sport.” The definition of the Swiss Olympic Games – the umbrella federation of Swiss sport – corresponds exactly to Kylian Nestola. The 16-year-old motorcyclist is making his debut this year in the European Superstock 600 Championship, a competition that allows him to ride on the same tracks as the riders competing in the MotoGP World Championships.

At the Swiss level, there are few who are up to it, as Jean-Claude Chertenlib, who has specialized in motorcycles for many years, attests to this. But we cannot guarantee that it will turn out to be a crack. Kilian Nistola, the Swiss champion in 160cm3 in 2019, and the vice-champion of Switzerland and Italy in 2018, was able to find sponsors to fund him. His team – Spain’s FAU55 Tey Racing team led by former driver Hector Vobel – is investing money for him, although he also has to put his hand in his pocket.

It is not considered a talent

Video filmed in November 2021.

Despite the promising future, the Swiss Olympian does not consider Fribourgwa’s talent. A motorcyclist does not benefit from the Swiss Olympic Talent Card (see box). For this reason, he cannot take advantage of the school exemption that allows him to practice his sport at a high level. “I applied for entry into the Sports Arts Formation (SAF) programme. I was told it was not possible,” explains Kilian Nistola. “Simply because he does not have a talent card,” confirms Benoit Geisler, head of the sports department in canton Fribourg.

Whether it’s an Olympic discipline or not, these cards are issued by the Universal Sports Federation of Switzerland. It is tantamount to legitimizing the various partners (municipalities, cantons, schools) by demonstrating talent that is part of a program to promote the next generation within the Federation. However, this concept does not currently exist for motorcycles on the track. Since the canton of Friborg is based on this system, young people who practice this sport cannot benefit from the SAF. In any case, Friborg State Councilor Jean-Pierre Seguin explained this in the reply to the young driver whom we were able to consult.

After giving him, like any student, only 5 days a year, Killian Nistola, reluctantly, had to give up continuing his training. “I had to choose between stopping the lessons or the motorbike. However, I had no problems with my school results. I have always had an average above 5.

Instead of just looking to see if a player has a card, take a look at the athlete’s profile.

Kilian Nystola

The lack of flexibility the young driver laments, while the discipline attracts fewer followers: “Instead of just looking at whether the athlete has a card, you have to look at the athlete’s profile. For motorcycles on the track, as for all other sports “. Because this problem affects not only people from Friborg, but also athletes who do skateboarding or go karting, for example.

The Swiss Motorcycle Federation (FMS) still has 15 athletes who can benefit from the talent card. They are all attributed to motorcyclists. “Fast motorcycles do not have a concept to boost the next generation,” justifies the Swiss Olympic. Before deciding that, to obtain these cards, “it must be demonstrated that the relevant association has a structure in place to screen, support and encourage young talent.”

The first in the history of motorcycles

But why this difference between these two disciplines? Since 1955 and the tragedy during the 24 Hours of Le Mans – more than 80 dead and 100 injured – circuit racing has been banned in Switzerland. As a result, motorcycling events have to take place outside, which makes organizing them more complicated. Unlike motocross, where races can be held in the countryside more easily.

“The Federation is really focused on motocross,” says Kilian Nistola. Words confirmed by FMS. “There is currently only one concept to promote the next generation in the sport of motocross. It is explained in a 27-page document. The first cards were issued in March 2022, which has never happened in the history of the Federation. As motorcycle riding is a different sport, FMS should develop another concept It declares, “For the future, some are planned to be implemented for other disciplines.” But it could take time.

Cantonese differences

The goal is to move towards a system where talent cards offer the same benefits everywhere

Swiss Olympic

However, holding a Swiss Olympic Talent Card is not always mandatory to join a sports/study class. In fact, it depends on the cantons. Some, such as Friborg, Neuchâtel or Geneva, rely only on this map. Others, like Valais and Vaud, are thinking on a case-by-case basis, and giving deep discounts in schools to talent that the Swiss Olympics have not recognized. Thus, a promising pilot in Friborg could not reconcile motorcycle riding with training. Whereas Fodd’s talent can.

These inequalities may diminish in the cantons in the future. Swiss Olympic is currently working with the Conference of Cantonal Practitioners of Sports (CRCS) – under the auspices of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Directors of Public Education (CDIP) – to find solutions to coordinate actions. “The aim is to move towards a system in which talent cards offer the same benefits everywhere,” declares the Swiss Olympic, which does not deny that, for equal treatment, there is room for maneuver in the cantons that award sports programs/studies on a case-by-case basis. Coordination will not have any effect on the condition of the young driver from Friborg.

However, it will be difficult to fulfill Switzerland’s Olympic wish, as the cantons are keenly keen on its independence. Contacted, CDIP Vice Chairperson, and Fu City Council Member, Cesla Amarel “did not wish to take a position while the CDIP is currently working on these questions”. In any case, tomorrow’s young speed riders will not be able to progress without speaking at the wheel.

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