French lottery operator Groupe FDJ has joined forces with the National Sports Agency and Paris 2024 to launch the ‘Gaining Ground’ operation.
The initiative aims to “contribute to the development of sports practice” by French citizens and is directed towards the municipalities of the “Terres de Jeux 2024” programme, launched by Paris 2024, which have benefited from local equipment financed by the National Sports Agency.
FDJ is already an official partner of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and last month the company launched a new pro-cycling competition to promote French women’s cycling ahead of the events.
Stéphane Pallez, Chairman and CEO of FDJ, commented: “Associated with the Paris 2024 Organising Committee and the National Sport Agency, the group is proud to contribute, through the ‘Gaining Ground’ operation, to the creation of equipment that will benefit the practice of sport through everyone, before, during and after the Games.”
The first equipment was inaugurated on Monday, May 16, within the grounds of the Marcel Cerdan sports complex in Tremblay-en-France, with a further 50 municipalities in urban and rural areas expected to have them by 2024.
The equipment includes an athletics track with a solar stopwatch, a multi-activity podium and outdoor sports equipment. There are also QR codes on each of the equipment offering educational videos produced by Sarah Ourahmoune, an Olympic boxing silver medallist at the Rio Games 2016.
Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024, said: “Thank you to the FDJ group, the National Sports Agency and the local authorities for their involvement in the ‘Gaining Ground’ system.
“This system is the embodiment of the unifying capacity of the Games; the state, the Games’ partner companies, the regions and Paris 2024 are joining forces to strengthen the practice of sport throughout the country.”
As part of the first wave of applications, four other municipalities have been confirmed as Lude (Sarthe), Grigny (Rhône), Montargis (Loiret) and L’île-Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis) were all selected.
A new call for applications was launched this week and will remain open until the end of June, allowing a dozen winning municipalities to benefit in 2022.
Frédéric Sanaur, Director General of the National Sport Agency, added: “I am delighted with the materialisation of the partnership with FDJ and Paris 2024, the aim of which is to contribute to the legacy of Paris 2024 at national level.
“Gaining Ground is a new and innovative concept that characterises the ability to associate three key players in French sport with the territories, with a common perspective of creating a sports platform led by local associations. Making the French more sporty goes through this type of initiative.
“This action is complementary to one of the priorities entrusted to the agency: the completion of the programme of 5,000 local sports facilities by 2024.”