Young Managers programme trains sports administrators in France

France’s archery federation celebrates its 120th birthday in 2019. It’s a chance to appreciate the past for an organisation that is firmly rooted in finding its future – and not just on the archery field.

The organisation’s Young Managers programme, designed to give archers aged 16 to 20 an insight into sports administration, has been running for over 30 years.

The programme has produced graduates that have gone on to work for the Fédération Française de Tir à l’Arc. Current national technical delegate Benoit Binon and committee member Carole Ferriou are alumni, while Young Managers coordinator Aurélie Milet was also first a participant.

A week-long course, Young Managers training covers association management and communication, and events organisation, while having an emphasis on group work.

“Strong links are created between the people who take part in this training. Being together for the week reinforces that team spirit,” said Maxence Aviegne, who attended to learn more about the administration side of his sport.

He, and other participants, have an interest in building their clubs and developing archery’s offering in their local areas.

“I got involved in my club from the start by helping during events, and I became a young judge the year before I took part in this programme,” said Laurent Royer.

“I was interested in learning more about the organisation of archery at a national level.”

The French federation emphasises commitment among young members and this programme offers a pathway into voluntary decision-making roles. There’s a youth management committee of nine within the federation governance that’s made up of programme graduates.

Committee members regularly meet in the federation offices and deliver initiatives such as fairplay and anti-doping campaigns, as well as volunteering at national and international archery events.

Ahead of the 2017 European Indoor Championships in Vittel, France, the committee organised an online contest in which young archers could win a VIP stay at the event. All they had to do was submit their definition of fairplay in archery.

“In addition to the committee, I’m also involved in a regional committee, and the programme has been really helpful since I took in charge of a theatre company,” said Laurent.

The Young Managers programme is an exceptional example of a federation engaging its youth members for the benefit of the whole archery community.

Initiatives like this will help strengthen the French federation for the next 120 years.

The Fédération Français de Tir à l’Arc is the national governing body for archery in France.

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