Blois sportive — © Ville de Blois, Alain Caillaud, Hachem El Yamani
Associative life assisted by the Town
With more than one hundred sports associations and ten thousand persons with licenses, Blois is a resolutely sporting town.
While ADA Blois Basket 41 is one of 36 fully professional French hoops teams, Blois foot 41 (National 2) and Rugby Club blésois (Fédérale 3) are at the forefront of teams defending the colors of Blois throughout France. Other disciplines also shine: track & field (AJBO), gymnastics (la Blésoise), frisbee/flying disc (l’Ultimate competes in Division 1, the highest level in France), and many more.
Along with club volunteers, the training and sports education teams and the practicing public, the Town of Blois is constantly and substantively involved. The municipality supports sports endeavors by all possible means: provision of structures, installations, tools and staff; event organization; education from a very early age; and consequential financial assistance (subventions).
Indeed, each year more than a million euros are allocated, as subventions, to the town’s sports clubs according to their educational commitment, their membership numbers, their level of excellence, and their involvement in the community life and animation.
Support for high-level athletes
Elite athletes impel persons in all sectors to overcome their limits and burnish the reputation of Blois outside its territorial limits. The town is consequently ready and willing to provide financial support to a number of athletes so that they can hone their skills in optimum conditions: equipment, travel, preparatory training camps, medical monitoring, etc.
- Raphaël Beaugillet (cycling)
- Agathe Girard (archery)
- Marie-Amélie Le Fur (track & field)
- Lucile Liboreau (cycling)
- Émilie Menuet (race walking)
- Michel Mothmora (boxing)
- Baptiste Selinghe (triathlon)
- Mathilde Sénéchal (track & field)
High-level clubs and events are likewise materially and financially supported.
The sports festival (fête du Sport)
To enable you to make choices amongst a multitude of options, every year at “back to school time” the town of Blois organizes a sports festival. Close to 80 clubs take up temporary quarters in the center, which is exceptionally closed to motor traffic, and install demonstration spaces, practical workshops and stands for information, discovery and registration.
In the company of the high-level sportsmen and sportswomen supported by the town, the annual sports festival offers you a perfect way to get the school year off on the right foot by fully acquainting yourself with the plethoric options offered in Blois for anyone wishing to practice sports.
Focus, sports at any age
The town supplements its association-based sports options through a program called animations sportives blésoises (ASB); highly affordable (15€ of annual fees for persons residing in Blois), the program permits children to practice sport from the age of 4. By visiting workshops, they will discover a large number of disciplines and be oriented toward the sport(s) of their choice under the supervision of qualified sports educators.
Information is provided during the sports festival. Registration can take place on site or throughout the month of September.
Community centers (maisons de quartier) propose numerous activities for the older generation: soft gymnastics, relaxation, games, etc. Renamed Résidences autonomie in 2016, the home for the aged offers workshops (memory, body and health) and conferences (health prevention).
The town has numerous disabled sports clubs, and several dedicated events are organized each year.
To facilitate the practice of disabled sports and because it matters that sport be accessible to one and all, particularly people with disabilities, since 2009 the town of Blois has uninterruptedly invested resources in view of rendering its sports facilities more accessible.
Each year since 2016, practical yet playful sports-oriented workshops have been organized so as to heighten children’s awareness of disability. At the initiative of Marie-Amélie Le Fur, volunteers, sports education staffers of the town of Blois, and the departmental disabled sports committee are mobilized for the workshops on the occasion of “Express your difference” days.
Blois officially recognized as an “active and sports-orientated town”
The town’s overall sports policy has been awarded the “Ville active et sportive” label by the French national council of active and sports-orientated cities, a council sponsored by the French sports ministry. This label serves as official recognition of “coherent sports-related initiatives, actions and policies and the promotion of all forms of physical activity, rendered accessible to the largest possible number of people”.
The council showed particular recognition for well-balanced educational policy, support for high-level sports and high-quality sports facilities. After having reached the “first laurel” level in 2018, the town is likely to be a candidate for the second level in 2021.
In addition to the back-to-school sports festival, the Blois calendar is punctuated throughout the year with sports-related events. Here are some highlights:
- Loir-et-Cher bike tour (April)
- Macadam (May or June)
- Étoile cyclo (children’s cycling) (May)
- Challenger tournament (tennis) (June)
- Blois Basket Show (June)
- Track meet (June)
- Quartiers d’été (summer children’s sports) (July)
- Fête du sport/Sports festival (September)
- Descente de Loire (canoe/kayak) (September)
- Blois pro futsal (five-a-side soccer) (December)
- Championships throughout the year (basketball, rugby, soccer…)
Numerous sports installations exist in Blois (“stade” = stadium: “halle des sports” = arena; “gymnase” = gymnasium; piscine = swimming pool; “palais des sports” = arena): stade Marie-Amélie-Le-Fur (ex Honoré-de-Balzac), stade des Allées (Jean-Leroi), complexe Saint-Georges, complexe Sauvageau, complexe Tabarly, halle des sports Raymond-Raymond-Etelin, halle des sports Moussa-Traoré, halle des sports des Provinces, gymnase Foch, gynmase Marcel-Cedran-Jules-Ferry, gymnase Rabelais, centre aquatique Agl’eau, piscine Tournesol, dojo La Quinière, Skate Park, the palais des sports Ada; the ASPTT and AAJB structures.
Public sports facilities are undergoing continuous improvement. Each year, the town dedicates a substantial budget to renovation.