The first qualifying rounds for the Citizen Commitment Games got under way on Thursday 3 April at the Group's head office in Paris. Flag Rugby* was the inaugural game.
The quarter finalists are…
The first teams arrived at midday on Thursday 3 April. Practice sessions were followed by the first matches; on completion of the pool games and once the "Citizen Rankings" had been factored in (based on the amount of money raised by each team). This festive and citizen-focused event also gave credit to the teams with best off-the-wall names and who brought the greatest number of fans. It was Flag'rant Délire and OPERation: Allez le rugby who led the field in this area! The matches progressed and the score-lines looked punishing: 13-1 to Flag'rant Délire against Cart'ouche! That put them into the final against CGA Touch. The 3rd place final pitted OPERation: Allez le rugby against FLAGADIS. Flag'rant Délire won a closely fought final 4-3. Everyone who took part agreed: a great day and a great atmosphere! Congratulations to all the Rugby fans!
On Friday it was over to Table Tennis and five-a-side football
On Friday 4 April qualifying events continued for the Head Office, with Table Tennis trials at Val de Fontenay and the five-a-side qualifiers at Puteaux. East of Paris the party was already under way by 10 o'clock! Many matches were played, and it was the Bi4Care team that finally came out on top in and will play at Marcoussis. They'll be joined by the Ping-Pong players who will compete in qualifying rounds at La Défense on 9 April.
As for football, this was the main event for this qualifying phase. With 28 teams and nearly 200 players, it was the most popular sport for the Citizen Commitment Games in France. The partner associations took part to support the teams who raised money. The games were played with great enthusiasm. Foot Acagougle distinguished themselves with the originality of their team name! The 7 Merveilles (7 Wonders) brought the most supporters with them.
The qualification final pitted ATR against 7 Merveilles. The two teams could not produce a result, drawing a match that was nail-biting to the finish, despite the fatigue. So it was the amount of money raised that separated the finalists and saw ATR win this contest. 7 Merveilles' disappointment was short-lived though, because they too will be at Marcoussis on 14 June to defend the colours of SOS Villages d'Enfants.
Qualification continues at Head Office
On Tuesday 8 April, the second week of head office qualifications got under way with pétanque. The Neuilly “boulodrome” was crowded with amateur pétanquistes, and a festive atmosphere reigned over this citizen commitment challenge. Match followed match and the results were close fought. By midday, with the “Citizen Rankings” factored in, thirty teams from the 45 entrants had made it through to the final rounds. During the break the Sous le Soleil team was congratulated for having rounded up 65 donors, while the Roulemaboule players were applauded for the originality of their team name. Rouge et Noir have collected €5,205 for Talents & Partage.
After lunch in the sunshine the matches got back under way, with the semi-finals eventually pitting BoulesDog against Black and Red Boules and C23 O’But against Pétanque 2.0. The competition for third place saw Black and Red Boules triumph in a very close match, while in the final BoulesDog came out the easy victors over Pétanque 2.0, who until then had been unbeaten.
A whole floor at La Défense turned over to table tennis
The table tennis competition was held on site in the Societe Generale Towers, where a whole floor was specially set up for the occasion. The players’ motivation was clear from the start, they wanted to win, but even more they wanted to defend the honour of the associations for which they were collecting. After two and a half hours of intense play, the Esprit de Famille team secured the best name accolade and the R.T.T. team had attracted the most donors and raised the most money! The latter took their success as far as the final, where they finally succumbed to the excellent Smash Team Racket. Both teams have earned their place at the international final on 14th June.
The final and very colourful event… the relay race
The closing event of these head office qualifications brought out the relay racers on the morning of Thursday 10th April, taking their turn to compete for a place at Marcoussis. Following a warm-up led by the Suresnes Athletic Club, the heats began and the teams put their all into the competition. The relay runners were never anything but cheerful, and if they sometimes fell over, above all they enjoyed themselves. The race was a fine showcase for team spirit! Diversity Racing Team took the crown for raising the most money, coming equal with FIND Sprinters in terms of donor numbers. The final was very close run, with FIND Sprinters taking first and the battle for second place won by A.M.A.C.C. Running Team.
Congratulations again to all these sportswomen and men, some more serious than others, but all fully motivated and committed! Congratulations to the volunteers, committed colleagues who helped make these days happen in a festive atmosphere. Finally, thank you to all the donors across the world. But the Citizen Commitment Games are not over yet! So carry on collecting and supporting the teams all over the world!