the French team relies on crowdfunding to best prepare for its season

Usually, a pot is created to organize a colleague’s going-away party or to contribute towards a joint birthday present. It is much rarer for it to be set up by a sporting body to help its athletes, especially when they make up one of the best teams in the world.

However, this is what the French snowboardcross team is faced with. On October 5, the French Ski Federation (FFS) launched a crowdfunding campaign for its snowboarders, to allow them optimal preparation before the first World Cup round of the season, from October 1er to December 3, in Deux Alpes (Isère).

This is all the more surprising as the results of the French in the discipline are remarkable: the Blues have won eight medals in five editions of the Winter Olympic Games and they totaled fourteen podiums in the World Cup last season. France can also boast of having gleaned two crystal globes in a row – the reward given to the best nation – in 2022 and 2023.

“We optimize every euro spent”

But in recent years, the rise in prices has greatly affected the budgetary balance of French snowboardcross. “Between the increase in plane tickets, hotel prices, packages… it’s becoming more and more complicated to take ondevelops Mme Trespeuch, double Olympic medalist in the discipline. We cannot make more concessions than we currently do, we optimize each euro spent. »

To the point that Luc Faye, director of the French snowboard teams, would almost rejoice at the absence of snow on the European summits in October: “It suited us well because it allowed us not to spend money we didn’t have. »

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To overcome these economic difficulties, we had to reinvent ourselves. “For some time now, we have been doing a lot of skateboarding, because it is an effort that can resemble snowboarding. Our staff is very ingenious for that,” explains Chloé Trespeuch. However, this lack of resources can clearly impact the performance of athletes: “We are going to do fewer days of snowboarding than the competition and that will quickly be felt”, thus fears the Savoyard.

Before the start of the season and the first round of the World Cup in Isère, the Blues were still able to benefit from an internship in Chile. A month-long preparation in South America, in order to optimize travel costs.

Thanks to aid of 25,000 euros from the FFS, the French clan will also be able to train in Austria, from November 5. On the other hand, between the World Cup round in France and that organized in Cervinia (Italy), mid-December, “more than a week will pass and it’s not even sure that the athletes will be able to train on snow”already regrets Mr. Faye.

“The prize list does not make the budget”

A prize pool was therefore launched to raise funds and allow French athletes to be able to train in the best possible conditions. Friday, November 3, in the middle of the afternoon, it had reached 1,800 euros. It will be closed on Sunday. The thing was set up “without really knowing what it was going to give, a bit like a cry of alarm”admits Mr. Faye, who concedes that “it’s not very conclusive, but far from negligible”. Mme Trespeuch, she said to herself “happy with this help”.


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“We don’t feel very supported by the FFS, argues the director of the French snowboard teams. But it cannot take on everything: it is also the environment of the mountain and indirectly the State which do not recognize us at our true value. I am often told that the prize list does not make the budget, it’s a shame…”

The case of snowboardcross illustrates the problems encountered by the FFS for years. In May, Fabien Saguez, its president, admitted missing “between 300,000 and 500,000 euros” to complete its annual budget, around 11 million euros. The discipline also suffers from a lack of media coverage and private partners to be able to continue to perform at the highest level. But Chloé Trespeuch remains positive and hopes that her team’s future medals will encourage “the partners and the Federation to support French snowboardcross even more in the years to come”. In the sights are the 2026 Winter Games in Italy.

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