The Lisieux fence wants to make the Foussard Memorial “a sporting and popular spectacle”

Alexandre Motte, head of communication for Fencing Lisieux, and Emmanuel Hartvick, president, are preparing the 44th edition of the Memorial Foussard. ©Pays d’Auge

Lisieux Fence organize Fossard Memorial Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 January 2023. Head of Communications, Alexandre Motte explains how the club wants to take this event to another dimension.

News: What does this 44th edition of the Foussard Memorial look like?

Alexandre Motte: Of the 170 participants expected and anticipated by federal regulations, the Henri-Foussard Memorial will have only 148 registered. As in Livry-Gargan and Laon, the first two national events of the season, all selective quotas in the region did not find holders. Therefore, there will eventually be fewer registrants than last year (158).
Less recorded than expected, but no less quality. The best swordsmen in France and some of international stature will be present.

Streaming and animations

The Foussard Memorial incorporates a very high level plateau. Despite free entry, this competition struggles to draw a crowd. How do you explain it?

MA: It is difficult to understand. We still have a lot of people for the final stage, but it is true that we can hope for better throughout the event. I think we need to provide entertainment, apart from the competition, to make people want to come.
That’s exactly what we’re going to do this weekend. A virtual reality headset will allow spectators to put themselves in the shoes of the shooters. There are other levers to give Foussard visibility. For example, we stream the final stages on our YouTube channel on Sundays from 3.30pm to 5.30pm. Last year, 500 people lived there. We hope to do better this year.

What impact does Foussard have on the club?

MA: Such an event necessarily creates emulation. Fencing Lisieux now has 105 members, a figure we hadn’t reached in over 20 years. We have more than 50 volunteers at Foussard, it is one of our strengths. They are parents, license holders, aged 6 to 63. They form a smiling, responsible and professional team. The quality of the organization and the group contributes to the reputation of Le Foussard, which is increasingly recognized locally and regionally.

A record budget

What is the budget for this event?

MA: This year 35 thousand euros. This is the largest in Le Foussard’s history, thanks to our public and private partners. This money is invested in arbitration, communication, technical platform, streaming… It is also used to reward shooters.

Le Foussard also fell on hard times. How did you manage to come back?

MA: Until 2015, it was organized in the exhibition center and brought together more than 250 participants. The Federation then tried to change the regulation. The number of shooters dropped and we were even forced to cancel the 2017 edition.
But since 2018, our competition has been in full swing despite the Covid bracket. We started from scratch, in the hall with many activities. Now the shooters have to pass the qualifications. The third round of the national circuit, Foussard has once again become a must on the calendar of the best French and foreign fencers. And we want to develop it further, turning it into another dimension.

Become the number 1 county in France

This means?

MA: We do everything we can to transform this sporting event into a popular spectacle, just like the Mondeville Athletics Meeting, Caen Tennis Open or Caen BMX Indoor. The Paris 2024 Olympic Games are approaching. Le Foussard will be the last race before the World Cups, qualifying for the Olympic Games. Therefore we will do our best to seek more financial resources. The objective is to eventually become the number 1 circuit in France, all guns combined.

Videos: currently on Actu

Foussard Memorial, multi-activity hall. Free entry. Saturday, January 14, 2023: 12:30-6:30 p.m. Sunday, January 15, 2023: 08:30 to 17:20.

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