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Rugby solidarity: Esprit Passion Ovale and Terres en Mêlées join forces to promote social causes

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To expand its reach, SKEMA’s student association Esprit Passion Ovale, which promotes rugby and its values within the school, has partnered with Terres en Mêlées, an international association present in Burkina Faso, France, Madagascar, Morocco and Togo that uses rugby as an educational tool.

​Two important events have already been organised under this partnership. On 9 March, a special event was organised to promote women’s rugby. On 6 April, the Rugby Solidaire Challenge was organised by AS Monaco Rugby Club (ASMR), which helped to raise €5,000 to fund an educational rugby tournament for 500 children in Burkina Faso, West Africa.


The projects undertaken by Terres en Mêlées focus mainly on an educational approach to rugby and its values. They help promote awareness related to world citizenship, gender equality, preservation of the environment and access to employment. Over 5,510 youngsters between 8 and 18 years of age have benefitted from these programmes. Out of this, 2,115 are girls. As a priority partner of Fondation Société Générale in Africa, Terres en Mêlées also has the support of World Rugby, Beyond Sport and the International Olympics Committee.


Victor Verdié, communications manager of Esprit Passion Ovale and in-charge of the partnership with Terres en Mêlées, told us a bit more about this partnership: “It was the former president of Esprit Passion Ovale, Adrien Vansteelant, who had the idea. He participated in the Terre en Mêlées tour of Morocco last summer, which was an intercultural exchange project on education for development through rugby and learning how to handle groups of children. After this fantastic experience, Adrien became deeply attached to Terre en Mêlées and wanted to get more involved. It was only natural that two like-minded associations, both very dynamic and using the magnificent values of rugby to build superb projects, should come together.”


Every year, Esprit Passion Ovale participates in the ESC Coupe de France with both a men’s and women’s team. The association organises various inductions, student beach rugby tournaments and traditional weekend events with the Tontons d’Ovalie (former rugby players). It also organises the wheelchair rugby awareness day for a children’s home in Cannes in partnership with HOPE (another SKEMA association that promotes charity). For the first time this year, it launched the “Movember by EPO” project through which €7,500 was raised for the Movember Foundation in France.

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