The Center Sud Canigo’, in the Pyrénées-Orientales, has been selected as one of the Preparation Centers for the Paris 2024 Games.
Guilhem Guirado, a very young retired French rugby union champion, Puig Aubert nicknamed “Pipette”, Franck Azema, Laurent Vila closer to us, coach at Cholet Basket, for a town of less than 3,000 inhabitants, Arles- on-Tech has a high-level athletic resume.
Especially since among the top of the list, there is also a real basketball figure, Francis Jordane, former coach of the French team (1988-1993). Exiled to Strasbourg as a technical advisor (CTD) and coach of the SIG (Strasbourg Illkirch Graffenstaden), the youngest coach of the N1 in 1975, it was through a good combination of circumstances that the native of Arles-sur-Tech could return in the country. National Technical Director (DTN) at the time, André Ostric asked him to take the place of the late René Chocat (ex-international) then CTR of the late Languedoc Roussillon.
This sports teacher (State certificate 2nd degree) will increase in the early 1980s, who is in charge of the mission in the male sector for the reorganization of the DTN or by climbing to different levels in the national selection until installed in the controls of the “A” in Euros 1989, 1991 and 1993 in particular.
First Year in 1993
But the man, who is sensitive to certain values without wanting to mix genres, does not forget his village.
After 3-4 training courses for the French junior teams on the old floor of the old hall of Arles and some discussions with Pierre Dao (DTN), then Francis Jordane spoke to Albert Costa, the mayor elected in said project (1989), the possibility of designing a second site worthy of the name in town.
The machine was running, the subsidies were obtained and work began in 1991 for a beautiful tool that became operational in 1993. “Basketball, recovery, shower at 2.10 m, video room… we thought of everything. Since then , the Center tried to work”, describes his parents who will live there, at the head of the “Blues”, the preparation for the German Euro 1993.
A big mess in Francis Jordane’s taste
As part of the regional pole minims – cadets (up to 60 students gathered in the area), the clubs of BC Vallespir and Perpignan, the Center stopped in 2001 according to the declared will of the mayor of the area. “Back then there was no human structure at all… we no longer exploited the site, yes the waste was enormous”, deplores Francis Jordane. The latter recently expressed the desire to set up an Academy, a Catalan version of that set up by Tony Parker in LDLC Asvel, “I am ready to get involved but no one has responded to my requests and proposals related to the Academy which will bear my name. The structure whose philosophy is basketball, depends on the Community of Communes of Haut Vallespir. I am convinced of it, there is a way to use it every day”, insists the person in charge.
All gratin passes through Arles
Since its creation (1991), the international center of Arles-sur-Tech, now called the Center de Pleine Nature Sud Canigo, has seen the parquet floor trodden by beautiful people. After its inauguration, in 1993 by France / Spain women and France / Russia men (2 victories), the clubs of Pau-Orthez, CSP Limoges, Montpellier, Antibes, Racing Paris, Cholet… and coaches like Bozidar Maljkovic, Claude Bergeaud, Jacques Monclar, Michel Gomez, Hervé Dubuisson all frequent the place. Other national teams have also arrived and a partnership exists with the Spanish federation whose borders are very close. Not long ago, regional training courses for Occitan children were held there, but the “gratin” was always welcome there… apparently it was Francis Jordane’s favorite wish.
In a very well-preserved area located 45 km from Perpignan, in a 5,000 m2 area out of sight, managed by Florence Carlier, in the immediate vicinity of Spain… the site, labeled Center for Preparation for Jeux (CPJ). ) suffered from a lack of accommodation, the problem was partially solved a decade ago, with a capacity of 108 residences which, if it is not suitable for gratin, is perfectly suited to a clientele of young elites.
More motivated and involved than ever, Francis Jordane, ambassador of choice, received as a sign of encouragement this labeling of the Center in October 2020 as a site likely to receive delegations or individual athletes in the face of Paris 2024.
In July 2021, Jean-Pierre Siutat, the president of the FFBB, came in turn to assess the areas and project himself. There are so many positive signs for Francis Jordane, this lover of his village and the game but does not want to make it a personal thing, he who always defends the values of the collective…