In this district on the northern outskirts of Marseille, the gym is desperately emptied of its tatami mats, but the director of the judo club, Eric Torrente, does not budge, the role of amateur sport is for him predominant for health. of the population and for the social link it generates: “Especially in the neighborhoods where we live, where it’s very complicated, and where sport is the only activity for children. We have to take that into account. We only create social links”, he insists.
The second confinement hurts neighborhood sports associations, to such an extent that many elected officials, renowned or unknown sportsmen, club leaders or volunteers are calling for the return to sports practice as quickly as possible.
“This second confinement was very, very complicated, we have a lot of parents who call us, asking us to resume, there is a very big pressure.”Éric Torrente, judo club director
In this club located at the border between a rather residential district and the northern districts, Jean-Michel, judo teacher, would not understand that the authorities minimize the role of sports clubs in civil society: “Especially when we are with families in which there may be worries, problems of violence or addictions. I who also work in schools, I realize that the physical performances of the children have continued to decline. , for me that is as much a priority as keeping the school open. “
Lou, 12, a judoka since the age of 4, has also felt less well since this new stoppage. She regrets her regular practice: “I know that there is still a risk, but at school we do dance or boxing and we take off the mask”, she points out.
“At home, we are super nervous, on weekends we are softer, slower, we want to do nothing.”Lou, 12 years old
For Laetitia, Lou’s mother, who is privately educated, the judo club allows her daughter to meet children she could not meet at school. “It brings her other knowledge, children she would never have met outside the judo club, because it is a social mix, she defends. All the children in the area come to this club. ”
Keeping the club afloat is a priority for Megane, a 21-year-old volunteer tasked with developing the club on social media, but the context becomes nearly impossible. “We are trying to develop, to come back stronger and, we will say, not to get caught up in this slowness. All partnerships are more complicated, private companies are more reluctant, even with public institutions, there is a fear, it is indeed more complicated. “ With 400 licensees in normal times, Massilia Judo has lost 30% of its participants and the budget that goes with it (200,000 euros). The club fears having to borrow.