Sport at school: a football sports section that works quite well at the Réeberg Néron college

More and more students who are passionate about sport want to join a sports section in college in order to be able to combine studies and training. In Rémire-Montjoly, the sports section devoted to football at the Réeberg Néron college fills up every year. These middle school students, numbering 39 for this start of the 2022 school year, are acquiring a taste for effort both for their sport and for their studies.

Currently in Guyana, figures for the start of the 2022 school year, there are 34 sports sections distributed in the various colleges of the territory, tells us Didier Rigottard, inspector of the regional pedagogical academy. These classes include 837 students including 438 boys and 399 girls.. Football, futsal, handball, rugby, basketball, athletics, horse riding, sailing or even gym are the disciplines practiced with a number of hours of training doubled or even tripled for practitioners.

At the Réeberg Néron college located in the Rep + zone, we welcome 680 students for this year. For the principal, Jean-Pierre Octavia, it is a manageable workforce for the teaching staff made up of 43 teachers:

“We have a sports section with a much wider recruitment than our sector, the students come from everywhere. But they are selected, they have to be good at football and at school. The 6th and 5th grade group has about twenty students and the 4th and 3rd grade group has about fifteen students. They start from the 6th and continue until the 3rd…”

Jean-Pierre Octavia, principal of the Reeberg Néron college

For the football class, it is planned this school year 2022, a stay in January 2023 at the Football Club of Nantes for 12 U13 students and their accompanying persons. This represents a financial investment for which the establishment calls on sponsors. The college has developed numerous partnerships with various professional clubs, but locally the main partner is the Loyola club. With him, meetings are regularly organized during the holidays.

Generation 2010 football section year 2021-22

Generation 2010 football section year 2021-22

©Mikael Hamon

After the 3e students who wish to continue must enroll in the West Indies or in mainland France in a high school where there is a football section, because there is none in Guyana. Every year, 5 or 6 of these young footballers try their luck at another academy. In Guadeloupe, there is an excellence center where the best elements of the Antilles-Guyana are grouped together.

Mikael Hamon professor of PE, requested by the principal in 2014, has been supervising the sports section for 7 years. A section created in 2008 which really took off after 2011.

“…This class is in high demand…we take between 12 and 10 students per generation. 10 were integrated this year in 6e. For the Rémire-Montjoly basin alone, this is not much… there is a large selection which is established both on the athlete and the school level as well as the behavior for it to work… »

The teacher points out that these students must agree to do more than the others in sport and that they must learn to organize themselves to achieve the objectives. The 6e have 4 hours more to add to their schedule, twice 2 hours of section, so they have less duty hours and have to do their homework. Parental support also plays a big role here.

At the end of the 5ethe best of the section who often also play in the Guyana selection integrate the section of the sports excellence pole which is at the Holder college in Cayenne.

Generation 2009 sports section football school year 2021-22

Generation 2009 sports section football school year 2021-22

©Mikael Hamon

If these children have to invest more than the others, they also have other rewarding experiences. In 2019, U 11-12s completed 10 days of training at FC Nantes in order to discover the reality of high level:

“We shared common training sessions, played matches, the children visited the facilities, the Baugeoire stadium, saw a match. 10 days in a professional structure so that they see what a professional club is and what is required, attendance, respect for schedules, rigor in dress, respect for the institution… So many elements who show them all the efforts to be made to integrate professional football… A lot of sacrifices from 12, 13 years old!”

Some boys have managed to get noticed and join clubs in France. Currently several of these boys are followed by FC Nantes and Dijon.

Overall, the students are doing well. However, last year, three of them had to be excluded from the football section because although they were very good footballers playing in the Guyana selection, their behavior and school results did not follow.

At Reeberg Néron are gathered the best players of ULSLMontjoly, AS Rémire, Loyola. Collaboration is essential with the clubs, the football league to move forward in synergy. Even if recruitment can also come from the communes of Matoury, Macouria or Cayenne.

Mikael Hamon hopes that a football class will emerge quickly in a high school in order to avoid too early exoduses for these young athletes.

In this college, it is also a question of culture since there is a section of choral singing and even a European section for the 4e and 3e with an emphasis on English to prepare for integration into the American section of Lycée Melkior et Garré or the European section of Lycée Lama-Prévot. These students follow a reinforced course in English, this year specifies the principal, the courses of physics and math will be in the language of Shakespeare.

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