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Fencing: Stéphane Jouve relishes the arrival of the French Championships in Épinal

May 13, 2022 by Jordane Rommevaux

Meeting with Stéphane Jouve, fencing master of the Spinalian Fencing Society.

© Jordane Rommevaux

A little over a week before the organization of the French Epee Championships, Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22, at the Halle des Sports in Épinal, the fencing master of the Spinal Fencing Society, Stéphane Jouve , agreed to take stock of his club, its ambitions, its next goals and above all the importance of organizing this national championship, two years before the Paris 2024 Olympics. Meeting.

As in 2006 and 2015, the Epinal sports hall will host the French Senior Epee Championships on 21 and 22 May. The finest national shooters will cross swords individually and in teams. But, while waiting for this big event, the fencing master of the Spinalian Fencing Society, Stéphane Jouve has agreed to answer our questions about the club’s news.

Twinning with the club of Pisa (Italy)

Last September, we established a bridge between our Épinal club and that of Pisa, thanks in particular to the strong ties we have with Gabriele Cimini, who is licensed with them and who has been competing with us for 4 years now in the French Championship. N1.
Last year, the Pisa club came to Épinal for a training camp and our close ties with this club mean that many Italian internationals, who are among the best in the world, have planned to come to Épinal from time to time, until for the 2024 Paris Olympics, to prepare, taking advantage of our infrastructure.

Creation of a sports section

We have just recorded it with the College Notre-Dame d’Épinal and I am delighted for the evolution of fencing in the city of Images. One might think that we are late because for several decades, there have been basketball, football, canoe-kayak or hockey classes in Épinal, but it is much rarer to see “fencing” sports classes. In France, there are only 12 so it is an important development that we have chosen. Next year, they will be 8 to join this class, which concern students from 6and and 5and. We have just finished the pre-selections and I would like to point out that they are not centered solely on sport since we also evaluate the school level of the student. It is out of the question that his activity is to the detriment of his education and vice versa.

Trainings and trainings

They will increase for those who are in sports class but that is also why we are adjusting their schedules. The children will train 4 times a week, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and then we provide tutoring for homework, thanks to my wife. Parents can therefore be reassured and relieved because in the evening, their children will have done their activity and their homework.
Eventually, we want to have sports classes at all levels of college and high school, to become a federal training center. Choosing the Notre-Dame Institute is not insignificant. Indeed, they have the particularity of being a college establishment, linked to a high school and which benefits from a boarding school. We can therefore imagine welcoming children from all over the territory and even further afield to continue their fencing training with us, while continuing their education in an establishment close to the fencing hall.
This is also how we can aim to strengthen our future senior men’s and women’s teams.

Licensees

I am proud to see that the numbers of our licensees have been on the rise for 10 years. We have 140 licensees at Épinal this season and we are getting closer to a record of 160 in 2012. But what I like is having parity in my students. I find myself today with mixed groups 50% girls, 50% boys. Moreover during the selections for the sports class, there were 5 girls and 4 boys. It proves that mentalities are changing and I like that.

Differences between girls and boys?

The boys have strength and courage on their side, while the girls have a certain maturity, very quickly and great finesse in their technique. When a girl already has her school plan well defined in mind, the boy is much more versatile or he waits until the last moment to make these choices. But together they complement each other perfectly.

Sports season 2022

I would say that summarizing that of both girls and boys, the appropriate word is: “frustrating”. First among the girls, because I think there was a kind of injustice. The regulations for qualifying for the French Championships have changed compared to 2020. While there should have been 16 qualified teams, we will only have 9 in N1 and 9 in N2, while they will be 32 in N3. The Spinaliennes are unfortunately 10and of their N1 classification. They therefore remain in N1 but will not be able to defend their chances at the French Championship, in Épinal. It’s so frustrating for the sixty volunteers who were hoping to see them shoot.
Among the men, this time it was the Covid that played tricks on us. While there are 2 days where all the teams meet, this year the N1 could only organize one and the Spinaliens finished 11and. They will therefore be forced to play their home game, with a first match, Sunday May 22, at 9:30 a.m., against Châlons-en-Champagne, which finished 14and.

Who makes up the men’s team?

It is composed of Quentin Lucani, Gabriele Cimini, Benoît Delattre and Fabien Duchesnay. They are in good form at the moment and I hope they will keep it until the French Championships.

Organizations of the Championships

As usual, the Championships will be orchestrated first by an individual tournament N1, N2 and N3 on Saturday, before the team tournament the next day. In the women’s individual table, our chances rest on Lola Lucani (N1) and Éléa Jouve (N2), she who is only a first-year junior has something to show at home. Among the boys, it is Quentin Lucani and Benoît Delattre who will shoot in N1, Fabien Duchesnay and Grégory Goetz, who is one of our spearheads in the Spinalian 2 team, will shoot in N2.
On Sunday, the team tournament will see the participation, precisely, of our team 2, in table N3. On a fine day, she can also pull out of the game and why not get her rise to N2.

TV/webcast

The French Championships will be free to access throughout the weekend, for those who can get there. But the great novelty of this 2022 edition is on the live streaming service that we are setting up. He will offer to broadcast the matches live on the color tracks, as at the World Championships, free of charge, by going to the official tournament website: https://franceepee2022.wixsite.com/2022. The site will offer a detailed plan of the various meetings and, remotely, Internet users will be able to follow the performance of their competitors.

An Olympic champion

Romain Cannone, Olympic champion at the Tokyo Games will be present, barring last-minute injury, in Épinal, in the colors of his Saint-Maur team. But he will not be the only favorite at Épinal.

The French team on an internship in Épinal in September

It is one of the prides that will launch the French Championships, since on Friday May 20, the eve of the launch of the competition, we will sign, with the federation and the city of Épinal, a partnership allowing the team from France to come to our fencing hall to prepare for its international events, up to the 2024 Paris Olympics. This is excellent news for the city and for our club, which will even be able to develop this golden and talented generation, coached by Hugues Obry, one of the best French fencing masters, who led the Chinese team in previous Olympics. I can already announce that they will be on an internship in Épinal, from September 12 to 18, 2022.

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