Federation Friday: France

20160513 FF FRA logo.jpg

Federation Friday: France

May 13, 2016

This week, the President of the FFGym, the French Gymnastics Federation, James Blateau, tells us all about the federal plan for sports citizens

The French Gymnastics Federation is very active, with gymnasts in all disciplines and of all levels. Chaired by President James Blateau since 2013, the FFGym is one of the founder federations of the FIG in 1881, together with Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as of the UEG in 1982. We leave the floor to James Blateau!

Photo: Thomas Schreyer 

Can you briefly present the French Gymnastics Federation?

Nearly 300 000 members, plus 1500 clubs, 4 Olympic disciplines and 3 world disciplines; these numbers speak for themselves and clearly define what our federation represents today. The State entrusts us with the mission of public service, to deal with our different disciplines and consequently with the gymnastics activity in France.


What is at stake with the Citizens Plan for the French Gymnastics Federation?

The idea to elaborate a Citizens Plan emerged after the attacks of November 2015. The State has carried out an analysis and realised that the values of the citizens were not sufficiently affirmed. The Federation has therefore imagined tools which facilitate community life. First of all the values of gymnastics: respect, commitment, solidarity, excellence, responsibility and pleasure. We have taken the time to write the values down, which rhythm the practice of our sport on a daily basis. But also the charters of the leaders, coaches, gymnasts or judges which give precise information on the expected attitude of the members of the French Gymnastics Federation… We too use them daily during our training sessions, in particular the coaches, to provoke debates and encourage the change of behaviour and exemplariness.


This Citizens Plan seems to be firmly focused on the future; what are the main objectives of the federation in the next years?

We have multiple objectives which converge towards a development of our sport. First of all, we want to increase the number of our members and put therefore new programmes in place as f. ex. competitions, in order to generate vocations.

Our second objective remains the improvement of the quality, of the international sports results. We have therefore reviewed the schooling system of the coaches and set up a strategy orientated towards the top level but which originates from the clubs.

Next, we think that it is nowadays essential to democratize the running of the federal structures by reviewing the different statutes and looking for transparency.

Finally, our last objective is to highlight our disciplines and for this we need to increase the media coverage of our sport. We work daily to set up agreements with TV and Radios. We also organise international events as the European Championships 2015 in Montpellier, or the National Day of Gymnastics which will be held this year on July 2nd. The participation of our gymnasts in the 4 disciplines at the Rio OG should also facilitate the media coverage of gymnastics in France.


Key figures of the French Gymnastics Federation  

- Nearly 300.000 members

- 1524 Clubs
- 27 regional committees, among them 3 Overseas Departments and Territories
- 97 departmental committees
- 10 training centres in France, 1 associated structure
- 15 training centres for the up-and-coming
- 100 schooling clubs
- 73 gymnasts in the French team
- 76 state executives, 7000 coaches and teachers, 13 700 judges

and thousands of volunteers


As explained by President Blateau, the federal plan was created after the attacks in November 2015 in Paris.

Let’s have a closer look !

The federal plan for sports citizens of the French Gymnastics Federation

The French Gymnastics Federation (FFGym) has built its identity around cardinal values so that each actor of gymnastics life becomes a sports citizen. In a societal troubled environment, the FFGym wants to reaffirm its values by means of four charters for its major actors: leaders, technical staff, member and judge.


Universal values

The FFGym wants to highlight the values of gymnastics, universal values conveyed by charters as respect, commitment, solidarity, excellence and responsibility. Communication supports (booklets, posters) have therefore be realized to constantly vehicle these values in federal life. These supports are available and posted on site, relayed by federation actions: competitions and training.

As gymnastics is universal, it is aimed at everybody and all ages who are looking for different objectives (competitions, spare time …). In order to facilitate the access to as many people as possible, the FFGym has structured its practical offer around four universes:

- French Team: universe dedicated to high level,
- Competition: universe dedicated to competitive practice,
- Évolugym: universe dedicated to non-competitive practice,
- Évents: universe dedicated to large events organised on French territory.

These universes, structured around the values of the FFGym, bring coherence and visibility to the federal offer.


Massive presence in Rio

Regarding the French team, the showcase of the federation, the evaluation rhythm is the Olympiad. Qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games in all disciplines the FFGym was represented in, tricolour gymnastics will be massively represented in Brazil, in particular with the historic participation in women’s trampoline. With the French teams in MAG and WAG, Men’s and Women’s Trampoline and Rhythmic Gymnastics, all sectors are highlighted and committed on the path of demand and performance. The reform of the competitions taken on by the FFGym has as objective the promotion of performances, making them more attractive for the players, organisers, spectators, media and the private/public partners.


Dynamic gymnastics

Since 2014, the FFG has updated the creation of new products adapted to the needs of athletes wishing for a non-competitive practice: offers to find a new public and to retain it. A catalogue of the following 5 sectors is proposed: Baby Gym, Access Gym, Health Gym, Handi Gym and Urban Gym, anew offerfor the young who are farthest from practicing a physical and sports activity.  A new project launched end of 2015 in the framework of the call for tender “Plan Sports Citizen” initiated by the Ministry in July 2015. The FFGym encourages and supports these structures wishing to commit itself in international events open to as many people as possible, as the Golden Age, EUROGYM or the Gymnaestrada. The French Federation has also innovated by launching in 2015 the 1st National Gym Day.


Training for all

With its National Training Institute, the FFGym committed itself to an ambitious programme giving access to training, developing continuing education and the promotion of trades. Since 2005, the Annual Colloquium of Associative Management is an annual meeting for club leaders and decentralized structures and proposes alternatingly testimonies, specific training and some quality time.


A durable presence in its environment

Anticipating the reform of the local government and starting to review the federal texts, the FFGym wants to develop the institution and its network of collaboration. Conventions and partnerships, not only with companies but also in the private sector, show the dynamism of a federation in its development.


You can find the values and charters of the FFGym here!


Text: FFGym