“Creating a real Sport Parliament”
Deputy Cédric Roussel is co-president of the study group on the sport economy and a member of the working group for the 2024 Olympics, and he believes in the virtues of parliamentary debate for arriving at new avenues for reflection and producing concrete legislative tools.
The National Assembly has started thinking about sport, by organising a series of seminars. What will this lead to?
CR: If we want the 2024 Olympics to be a success in terms of legacy with a positive effect on jobs, developing infrastructure and participation in sport, we need to get to work straight away.
That is why we wanted to set up this cycle of seminars and create a real “Sport Parliament”. Our method is simple: meeting up, discussing, debating and working together to respond to the challenges of tomorrow. The first meeting was held at the end of December to look at the new governance of sport in France and the need to democratise participation in sport. We will very soon be communicating about the second seminar (“Sport and Economy”, 12 March 2019).
For these seminars we assemble all the stakeholders to give them a chance to express their views. These discussions will help raise the awareness of members of parliament and reveal useful approaches and concrete suggestions. The aim: to construct a “Sport” law from 2019 to ensure that the means and the development of sporting practice in our country will be long-lasting.
On 16 January you hosted our “Sport and Employments” conference. We saw that sport employment is varied and fairly dynamic, but also fragile. How can we encourage professionalism in sport structures and thus protect this sector?
CR: Sport in France provides 155,000 jobs with an average growth rate of 3.5% a year over the past 20 years! It is true that there is a certain precarity, though. Each association has its own special situation and problems. The Sport Minister was right to insist on the necessary possibility for structures to be able to have recourse to other legal forms, such as SCICs.
There are other routes. It is vital that funds be unblocked to improve professional training and thus respond to the needs of the sector, in terms of guidance and developing participation. One of the main areas for progress concerns the employers’ lack of means. This requires better links between the public and private sector, and between amateur and professional clubs, and also new funding models. We are working on this with the financial sector.
How can we ensure that the enthusiasm generated by major sporting events benefits the whole of sport?
CR: Hosting major sporting events has many positive effects. To get the maximum effect from these externalities we need to assess the impact of sport on society before, during and after these events. These assessments hardly exist at the moment. It is a cause which I have been promoting for several months, which has resulted in more awareness and the start of positive discussions. I will continue to work in this direction so that future events organised in our country are successful in terms of social cohesion, employability, and developing infrastructure, the regions and participation in sport.