Agen handball on the rise

After these February holidays, we had the opportunity to take stock with Laurent Debourges, co-president of Amicale laïque d’Agen Handball.

How is your club doing now?

Financially, we weathered the health crisis well. The biggest problem for us is the number of games postponed due to Covid-19. This complicates our task and requires a lot of administrative work.

Last season was truncated, will recovery in September be difficult?

There have even been two seasons that have been disrupted. Still, recovery is not as difficult as one might think. The senior group resumed on August 15. On the young side it was done mildly but in general everyone was happy to get back to handball.

All clubs in France and Navarra experienced a significant drop in licensees. How about you?

After losing less than 20% last season, we’re seeing a 10% increase this year. We were pleasantly surprised to reach 230 licensees.

How do you explain it?

Many seniors have resumed work after a few years of rest, which we did not expect. Among young people, the numbers in some categories are still a little tight, but we’re working on that.

From a sports perspective, where are your first men’s and women’s teams in their respective regional championships?

In Pre-National, the girls were in the middle of the table, and it was logical to keep it that way. For older boys, it’s harder. They evolve in low-lying hens and are at risk of decline.

In regional tournaments, your team also has fewer than 18 girls and boys.

Very happy with the tall hen girls with two wins in the second stage. The boys are at a low level, but at a level that suits them better, they also have two wins.

How about the rest of your team?

We have U15 girls from three divisions Landers and Dordogne, which has the advantage of perfecting their training at a high level. While the workforce was a little tight, others had fun classes. Even our leisure team is back in service at Rodriguez gym every Thursday.

A novelty in the category of baby hands was created for the first time in Agen.

Prompted by host Sonia Grava, we launched this section with the arrival of 15 mini-handball players, confirming our desire to develop our practice towards the youngest.

You’re still the only club in the division with a hand president team, how does that translate on a daily basis?

They train every Sunday morning and play their first game in Lyon. The various stops didn’t stop the group from moving on as new participants arrived. A mix of active/inactive facilitates all integrations. Don’t hesitate, come and try it, you will be well received.

Your club has a strong focus on diversity. Can you tell us a word?

The club has always wanted to work in the fields of girls and boys. This is our strength and our pride.

How would you rate the sports facilities that Agen Town Hall and the agglomeration area offer you?

We are delighted to have found COJC, which has allowed us to develop in excellent conditions. As we proposed Mr. Dionis du Séjour before Covid arrived, we are ready to host all our regional meetings in this wonderful setting.

With your friend Thierry Bourgeolet, you will complete your 4th season. Will you be there next time?

Our mandate is five years, which gives us a glimpse of an extra year. But we have to think about the future. Being president takes a lot of energy, but it also brings a lot of satisfaction.

What are your goals for next season?

We are considering a sports program for upper girls and joining N3. At the same time, we want to permanently install Senior Boys in the regional championships. We strive to develop our club by introducing additional skills.

last sentence?

We wouldn’t have accomplished much without the many leaders, coaches, referees, and parents who have been helping us throughout the season. How about our two young referees, Hélio Carrillon and Thomas Albugues? They took part in the regional class during the February break and we are proud that they have brought together the best young referees in the region. Thus rewarding their investment and competence.

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