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Rugby: when the Biarritz Olympique Association removes the women's section, guilty of supporting Aldigé

2022-06-27T22:14:17.614Z

The president of the amateur sector of Biarritz Olympique, David Couzinet, has decided to end the women's team. A low revenge according to those concerned.



We took a big hit in the back of the head.

We don't know what we're going to do next year.

We have to find funding, infrastructure... We'll see how we can get back on our feet...

” On the phone, Florian Mercader tries to stay calm.

He doesn't get carried away.

Do not panic.

He would, however, be entitled to yield to one or the other.

This oval ball enthusiast has not counted these hours, for almost ten years, to promote women's rugby.

He started in 2013 by creating a women's section in his beach volleyball club.

Before founding a club a year later (FAR, Féminines Athlétiques Rugby), then joining the Biarritz Olympique association in July 2018. Always with the same ambition: to allow girls to practice their favorite sport.

So when, last Wednesday, he was summoned by David Couzinet, the president of the amateur association of the BO, the blow was hard.

He announced to me the abolition of the women's section.

Before, the next day in the press, to specify that he finally kept the youngest, that is to say twelve dismissed.

The reason for this killing?

He first said he no longer had the budget.

Before reproaching us for being too close to the professional section (

the BOPB, chaired by Jean-Baptiste Aldigé with whom David Couzinet, president of the amateur part, has been in conflict since his election, in December 2021, Ed).

He told us that we were not faithful to the Association and, therefore, that it was no longer possible.

The girls voted against his project, then for the convening of the General Assembly to replace him.

It is obviously a penalty.

He puts us out because of that

, ”fulminates Florian Mercadier.

The accused defended himself weakly in the local press: “

they are closer to the professional section.

Somewhere, they took sides…

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As a result of this settling of accounts, “

70 girls plus about fifteen staff members are thrown out.

That's 85 less licenses at the next GA.

Like that, it is sure to pass

, ”grins the now ex-responsible for the Women's Rugby Pole of the BO, whose first team plays in Federal 2 (4th women's division).

The captain of the ''BOtés'' is more lifted.

When Élodie Rousseau answers questions from Le Figaro, we understand from the tone of her voice that the anger is there.

"

We pay cash the fact that we agree with the professional part.

But the president of the pro sector has always supported us, unlike that of the association who has always forgotten us, put aside.

When the new leadership arrived, they publicly made big announcements, promises.

They said they wanted to gather.

They only divided.

And they don't accept that we get along well with the BOPB.

»

“We are the only section of the BO that has no employees.

We are all volunteers.

It is certainly our passion, but we have the right to a minimum of respect.

»

Florian Mercader

And the young woman to regret the “

lack of consideration

” of the team in place towards her partners and them.

We never had the slightest recognition.

I'm not more surprised than that, so badly was it.

We reach the regional semi-finals, we compete in the qualifications for the French championship and we have never received a message of support, of congratulations.

In January, six of us had obtained an appointment, we had exposed them to our many problems.

Nothing has changed.

The proof that Couzinet doesn't care about us, at the end, he asked us if we were playing rugby at 10. He hadn't listened to us.

He had never even been interested in us since our first season at 15 had started six months ago…

Florian Mercader gives some concrete examples of this lack of interest.

"

During his election David Couzinet had assured in all the media that he would do everything for the girls.

Concretely, we got a weight room that we didn't have before.

For the rest… We never had access to the living space, nor to the video room.

We're the only section that doesn't have the keys.

He promised us a physiotherapist and a doctor for Monday evening training.

A promise never kept.

The swimsuit game?

It arrived in March!

With only 3 shorts in size S and everything else in L, XL or XXL.

But the majority of girls wear S and M. However, one of the players had found a sponsor who had given 500 euros to have his logo on our shorts.

The check, they took it.

And when the girls pointed out to him that they were the wrong size, he replied that

they could roll them up… For our last game of the season, he did not free up the field for us.

Luckily the BOPB allowed us to play on Aguilera's field of honor...

»

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The coach is sorry for his daughters, who suffer from being discredited in this way.

"

When we pointed out to him that he was very rarely present for the women's matches, he dared to answer us

''understand me, I have a family life and a professional life...''

To players who pose days off to play and train!

We are the only section of the BO that has no employees.

We are all volunteers.

It is certainly our passion, but we have the right to a minimum of respect.

He pauses.

Before letting go of what's on his mind.

"

In the press, Couzinet said ''We will finally keep the cadets to help them practice our sport''.

Our sport?

In fact,

he is totally misogynistic.

» «

It bothers him that women are against his ideas,

adds Élodie Rousseau.

At the beginning of April, he was outraged that we had signed the convocation of the GA.

But we are not in kindergarten!

»

“Firing us is ultimately a strength they give us: that of proving to them that we are worth more than they think.

»

Élodie Rousseau, captain of the ''BOtés''

What about the future of the "BOtés"?

David Couzinet evoked a nebulous “

reorientation of structures

”.

That's to say ?

"

I don't know,

" admits Florian Mercader

.

He also said that the women's section would turn professional in two or three years.

I am not aware of this measure.

He's just trying to cover himself.

He also says that we will go back to FAR, which I created in 2014. But the club has been dormant since we joined the BO in 2018. There are no more licensees.

And, even if we relaunch the FAR, we will have to find funding, land, changing rooms, a stadium for match days… Fortunately, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine league has promised us that it will not let us down.

They don't

can't believe what's happening to us.

»

The future is blurry.

The girls are disgusted, sad, but motivated.

Afterwards, according to the sequence of events, will they remain so?

It's double or quits.

Either we leave much stronger by managing on our own;

or we put the key under the door.

The determination of his captain will no doubt reassure him.

"

I'm waiting for Mr. Couzinet to summon us, for him to have the courage to explain his decision face to face.

Everything we've done, they throw it in the trash.

We were stunned at the time but we will fight.

They won't destroy everything we've built.

This fight unites us even more.

We are all together, behind the staff.

We will all be there and we will go all the way!

To fire us is finally a strength that they give us: that of proving to them that we are worth more than what they think.

»

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Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2022-06-27

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