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Sport dans la Ville : when sports scores jobs

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes - Lyon
Social ties in priority neighbourhoods

Founded in 1998, the association Sport dans la Ville (‘Sports in the city’) promotes sporting values among young people in underprivileged neighbourhoods and helps them find jobs.



Integration through sports: this theme is if not old at least perfectly mastered by the association Sport dans la Ville. Fifteen years ago, Philippe Oddou, former executive with Paribas and L’Oréal, jumped headfirst into the associative adventure with the goal of ‘transmitting sporting values and helping young people in difficulty’. His association, very focused on the business world, does not content itself with creating sporting facilities for young people in poor neighbourhoods. It also offers to help them find jobs.

A field of possibilities

‘We have built 23 sporting facilities—football fields and basketball courts open to all—in the Rhône-Alpes and Île-de-France regions. Our 80 educators set up sporting events to work with young people on their behaviour and know-how so that they can get out of their neighbourhoods and discover a field of possibilities,’ explains Philippe Oddou. This field of possibilities emerges through international exchanges with Brazil, the United States and India—’trips that are very fulfilling for young people’—as well as through the vocational placement program “Job dans la Ville” (Jobs in the city). Its mission: follow young people for several years, from age 15 to 22, and give them the keys they need to work for companies. ‘Job dans la Ville concerns 400 young people at all times: 80% leave with a diploma or a job,’ says the co-founder of Sport dans la Ville with pride. Since 2007, the association has been developing business start-up support with the Entrepreneurs dans la Ville (entrepreneurs in the city) program: 100 projects supported, 52 start-ups, and 120 jobs created.

Sharing Know-How

In 2004, the Fondation VINCI donated €20,000 to help the association create a sports facility in Lyon. ‘This aid was a very significant contribution to the project’s completion,’ says Philippe Oddou. Then, in 2011, the Foundation donated €5,000 to the renovation of the Joseph Boucaud stadium in Lyon. A new grant obtained through Bruno Dupety, managing director of VINCI Construction. “I discovered Sport dans la Ville through friends, and its actions seemed especially interesting and remarkable. The young people who have participated in the association's programs leave trained, grounded, and promising. This is an advantage in our professions. My role is to facilitate contact with headquarters,” says the association's “institutional” sponsor. "

Stéphane Brûlé, agency head for Ménard Rhône-Alpes – Auvergne (VINCI Construction), the other association's sponsor, plans to meet with the association’s young people to present et explain the business world, his profession, and those of his colleagues. This is an active partnership and an opportunity to ‘share know-how’ and take part in ‘an exciting human adventure’.

February 2013 © Reporters d'Espoirs news agency

Reporters d'Espoirs news agency

VINCI Foundation works with Reporters d'Espoirs, a French news agency, to highlight and share the innovative social initiatives that it supports. The arrangement includes the writing of articles and exchange on topics that lead to solutions. Thus presented, the initiatives, validated using the criteria of the editorial charter of Reporters d'Espoirs, are intended to demonstrate their development and results.