Seniors Masters arrives on Wednesday, September 7th in Nevers

After two years of postponement, the Elder Masters will have the right to their first edition. “Life does not end in the sixties. With this premise, Philippe Menuel came to imagine this competition, the first of its kind in the world.

The president of the Senior Masters Association and himself running to talk, is saddened to see that only a small portion of those sixty and over engage in regular athletic or mental activity.

He was also disappointed to see that there is nothing for people of his age, no matter how many they are, as there are more than 16 million 60-year-olds in France, a number that should rise to 30 million by 2030. The number of people affected by the event only increases with the passage of time. the time.

original project

Originally from Nevers, he naturally requested city support and then department and district to get to the Sports Ministry. Felipe Menuel’s idea – a multidisciplinary competition for seniors – was immediately appealed to the elected officials who approved the project. Therefore, the association began its tour of clubs and sports federations to coordinate the project.

“We are designers and coordinators, we do not have a sufficient structure to organize such an event,” he said. To see the light of day, the project benefited from the support of a large number of partners. “I cannot thank the partners from the public and private sectors enough for helping us, without them this event would not have been possible,” said the Masters Seniors.

Many features

With two years of Covid upending their calendar, some unions have left the project, and others have joined. Today, 14 disciplines are represented in these “Olympic games for seniors”, as Philippe Menuel often jokes: bridge, cycling, fencing, golf, kayaking, Nordic walking, fishing, petanque, scrabble, sudoku, tarot, tennis, And table tennis, and the track. .

One of the characteristics of the master’s program is that it does not involve much Olympic discipline. This multidisciplinary gaming concept is protected by the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), and should bring together more than 2,000 participants, all over the age of 60, from all over France. “Foreigners authorized in France can also participate,” the president said.

This new formula gave organizers the freedom to conduct certain events, such as cycling, in which time trial participants would be followed by collection vehicles.

Although the competition is “the sixties by the sixties,” the association also wanted to work on intergenerational communication. With BTS students from the Notre Dame School Center in Nevers, they specifically managed the communications around the event.

For two years, every Tuesday, I held meetings with students to deal with it. They also composed an anthem for these great masters, Allumer les Jeux, a cover of Johnny Hallyday’s Allumer le feu. Senior members playing tarot

Another feature of this event is the “Olympic” village. Located at the Centre-Expo de Nevers, access will be free and the public will be able to attend activities, which are also free, such as the muscle wake-up that will happen every morning at 11am, or even conference discussions. The village will also welcome local merchants, artisans, artists, painters, sculptors, writers … There will also be a wine-tasting competition open to everyone from the age of 18.

We must also not forget the opening and closing evenings of the Masters, as well as the presence of Gerard Holtz, patron of this edition, who will host the event. Past champions such as Josian Post, world cycling champion in 1977, Christian Fazino, pétanque player of the 20th century, Mark Farye, golfer on the European Tour for 30 years, Michel Abekasis, European bridgeman in 1991, and European Bridgeman in 1991 will also attend the event. 1993 and 2018, or even Nivernais Jean Laudet, the 1952 Olympic champion in the two-seater canoe. Some of them will participate in the competition and some will come to the event to talk about the sport. Note that Christian Fazino will dedicate his book Christian Fasino, Petanque: Legend of the WorldTomorrow, at the Expo de Nevers Center.

Never land games

Felipe Menuel is very happy that the event is being held in Nevers. “We knew ‘Never loser,’ laments. ‘There’s no industry left, we’ve lost the Formula 1 race, the population keeps leaving,” the president sadly recounts.

People don’t know where Nevers is, it’s worrying

Philip Menuel (empty)

With this event, he wants, with all the collaborators of the great masters, to reclaim the area in which she made them live the letters of the nobility by highlighting and making them better known. “People don’t know where Nevers is, it’s worrying. That’s why the association will be awarded as a reward not medals, but porcelain from a local artist.”

If 2,000 athletes were expected to get their first of these great masters, Philippe Menuel admits it has been very difficult to get people to attend. Since the concept is new, some participants are reluctant to participate. However, the regulator has hope. “Once the event is launched, and has gained notoriety, it will be easier.”

Through “perseverance and courage”, Philippe hopes to make the event even bigger, with new disciplines, to attract as many people as possible for the upcoming tournament. With a biennial rhythm, the second edition will also take place in Nevers, in 2024. “We will compete with the Olympics,” Philippe Mansuel concludes with a laugh.

Gerard Holtz, a clear passion for sports

Several years into retirement, it was his passion for the sport that prompted Gerard Holtz to sponsor this first edition of the Masters Senior Tournament.

Gerard Holtz, a regular at events held in Nevers, is delighted to return to Nevers, the region that saw him rise to third place in the French Karting Championships in the Smile formula, after his final victory at the Nevers-Magny circuit. .

So it was obvious for him to sponsor the first edition of the Masters. “I find it especially good at an advanced age to continue training and to dare to participate in competitions that are more multidisciplinary. After injuring his knee in one of the editions of the Dakar, Gerard Holtz had to change his sporting habits, replacing his soccer jersey and racket Bicycle tennis and golf clubs. Gerard Holtz sponsors the Senior Teacher Program © Agence Originis
Today, on his 76th birthday, he still does regular physical activity, climbing his bike every two or three days, and playing golf every week. Gérard Holtz will try to be all over the place in the competition, giving the beginnings of some competitions, rewarding participants or even by stimulating conference discussions. He even hesitates to bring his bike and golf clubs to enjoy the area a bit.

After a private and professional life marked by athletic virus, Gerard Holtz turned to his second great passion, the theatre. He will be present on September 8 at the Nevers Theater to play his play Long live the sport… and its little secrets ! In this play he wrote, he addresses experts and sports enthusiasts, to share with them the history of the sport and his self-confidence, but above all to share his passion with them.

Life in the Olympic Village

Introducing the Senior Teachers event © Fabien Agrain Deville

Conferences – debates and events at the Expo Centre.

In total, six conferences-discussions will be held in the village which was held at the Expo de Nevers Center. Specialized speakers were invited to discuss various topics.

The first conference will take place tomorrow and will address the impact of global warming on aquatic environments. Craftsmen, local producers, and artists will attend to display their work. Every day, from 11 am, professionals will lead the “Muscle Awakening”. Note that entry to the village is free for all, as well as for entertainment.

Nicholas slept
nicolas.nam@centrefrance.com

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