for large government investment in sports equipment


Jean Damien Lesay for Localtis

“What equipment for a sports nation?” said Belkhir Belhaddad, MP for the Moselle, on Friday. It is a defense for huge investments in favor of sporting goods, which must come from both the state and the private sector. To Roxana Maracineanu, Delegate of the Minister for Sport, in Metz on 4 March.

Commissioned by the Prime Minister in December 2021, the mission had a passion to “outline an orientation plan for sports equipment to provide a reliable economic model for this equipment that drives government loans.” , local governments, federations. and the commercial sector”.

triple challenge

Before coming to solutions, the report stays away from a dark but unprecedented observation: “France faces a triple challenge with its sports infrastructures.” Quantitative challenge first: “The country is not equipped to support new practices and make our country a ‘sports nation’.” Then a qualitative challenge: “Existing infrastructures are aging and lacking in maintenance.” Thus, about 40% of the 272,000 built sports facilities owned by local governments belong to before 1985 and 70% have never seen major work. Finally, the regional challenge: “The current location of the equipment does not guarantee a fair and balanced network of the country.” The rapporteur will point to areas “particularly lacking”: the city’s priority neighborhoods (QPV), rural revitalization areas (ZRR) and overseas areas. He even highlights the “particularly deteriorated” situation with regard to swimming pools, of which 62% were built before 1985.

Based on this trio of observations, Belkhir Belhaddad’s initial recommendation is not financial, but about the sporting goods inventory (RES), currently managed by the Ministry of Sport, which “seems to have reached its limits”. The report mentions “dysfunctions in the collection methodology and the attrition of human resources”. Therefore, he requests his transfer to the National Sports Agency (ANS). A transfer aimed specifically at creating a tool that meets the needs of the ANS and will allow the agency, which is the operator of the State for financing the equipment, to better coordinate its actions in the region.

Expenses arising from sports policy

However, most of the recommendations relate to the criteria by which equipment should govern its funding and delivery. The rapporteur returned to the 5,000 local sports equipment program with €200m of state funding over three years for the renovation and requalification of local equipment and the purchase of mobile equipment. Therefore, the zoning limits and the definition of possible projects to be assisted should be reviewed. In fact, he emphasizes that if the suitability of the plan covers 80% of the area, it only appeals to 18% of the population and excludes active design type urban developments.

However, this plan needs to be overcome in order to meet the unmet needs in terms of restructuring sports equipment. More generally, the report recommends that projects eligible for public subsidies should be part of “a global and collaborative approach that spans from the design and operation of sports equipment to the search for support and innovative financing.”

And as Belkhir Belhaddad puts it: “The revitalization and use of equipment is often done without thought in sports policy, whereas they largely determine the life of the infrastructure.” Moselle Deputy’s solution: “The support of the economic world with the local administrations with the project.”

programming law

Then we come to the fundamental problem of financing, which must be based on “better planning of public allocations and increased visibility of financing”. [afin] securing the investment operations of communities.” Not forgetting “new private funding, particularly through sports sponsorship.”

In the rapporteur’s mind, 5,000 local sports equipment programs, and 200 million of them, are only “the first step before the submission of a proactive and major investment plan for sports infrastructure”. By the end of its 2024 deployment, Belkhir Belhaddad is campaigning for a 2025-2030 programming law that would secure up to €500m per year financing for sports equipment. to indicate, to declare.

Beyond this amount, which will be an unprecedented shock to investments – all envelopes devoted to sporting goods, including the recovery plan, amount to €400 million in the period 2022-2024 – this program should be accompanied by a “strengthening”. Responsible and sustainable purchasing policies that integrate building energy performance criteria and support an overall cost approach to predict operation, operation and maintenance”.

This parliamentary report – the first of its kind devoted solely to equipment – further challenges reflection to “consider sports equipment policy as a tool in the service of regional planning and optimization of existing terrain”. Therefore, it plans to change city planning rules to encourage practices such as active design or wasteland recycling.

As a result, some of his proposals, such as the opening of school facilities to other spectators, have just been recorded in the latest law on the modernization of sport. Others modeled on the 1% cultural model, such as the introduction of the 1% athlete in construction, have already been the subject of fruitless debate. As for the most daring, such as the programming law and the annual allocation of 500 million euros, they can serve as a red thread for the sports policies of the next five years…