New tools and new challenges for sport in 2022

Jean Damien Lese for Localtis

In terms of sports politics, the coming year promises to be a year apart. One figure sums up its unprecedented nature: 987 million euros of the budget included in the financial account for 2022 (+22%). Has France realized the importance of sport for the well-being and health of the population? On paper, yes. In fact, the answer should be nuanced.

In support of clubs

The historic amount of the upcoming budget is due primarily to the simple influence of the calendar: the Olympic Games in Paris will take place in two and a half years and require increased investment, in particular in sports infrastructure. This means an increase of 62 million euros in loans allocated to Solideo (the company that delivers the Olympic works) and the organization of the Games.

Another economic factor: the health crisis. The French have been banned from their clubs since the spring of 2020 and have been slow to return to stadiums and gyms. And the sports movement felt like a financial vacuum. The government then decided to create Pass’Sport. Intended for young people between the ages of 6 and 17 who receive either a school allowance, an education allowance for disabled children, or an allowance for disabled adults, however, it did not fully achieve its goal. Only half of the planned appropriations were made available by the originally planned date. In an effort to encourage the resumption of physical activity and support clubs, the government has decided to expand the system to new audiences, with an additional €100 million planned for 2022.

What is the financing of the equipment?

Another lever of action to develop the practice: assembly and repair of equipment. In this regard, the government has made new efforts: 192 million euros will be allocated over three years for the construction of 5,000 small local sports facilities. Equipment designed for both controlled and free practice. However, like Pass’Sport, this plan is not universal. Scarce territories (QPV and ZRR) are the only ones eligible for funding. A situation deplored in our columns by Patrick Upper, president of the National Association of Elected Officials in charge of sport (Andes). In his opinion, “we need a Marshall Plan for local sports facilities.” The plan, which will cover all territories, will especially focus on the renewal of obsolete equipment … and will require a minimum investment of one billion euros. This is much more than, for example, the 50 million euros from the Recovery Plan to finance the energy renewal of sports equipment.

However, in terms of equipment, the National Sports Agency (ANS) will not act as Santa Claus in 2022. Its package dedicated to structuring equipment – ​​under construction or refurbishment – ​​is only 12 million euros for the metropolis. again, only scarce territories. Another 12 million are provided for financing the construction and reconstruction of pools, still in scarce areas.

In fact, in order to finance sports equipment, local authorities will continue in 2022 to turn to mechanisms other than those of ANS, in particular the Local Investment Support Grant (DSIL, 33 million euro allocated for equipment equipment in 2020) and equipment distribution. for rural areas (DETR, 56 million for sports equipment in 2020). Or maybe to the contributors, who in a few months will be sitting at sponsors’ conferences?…

New management, new funds?

They will constitute – after the regional sports conferences organized in all metropolitan regions throughout 2021 – the second stage of the “new territorial administration of sports” rocket. It is at this stage of the overall financial commitment for joint projects that the usefulness and effectiveness of the new decentralized bodies of the National Sports Agency will be evaluated.

However, the great unknown of sport in 2022 remains the evolution of health measures. If school practices have been maintained, restrictions on access to equipment continue to penalize clubs as well as commercial premises. Two years before the 2024 deadline, the goal of increasing the number of practitioners by three million, set in 2017, seems increasingly elusive.