Judo Pro League News

TEAM PRESENTATION - POOL B

The Judo Pro League resumes on Tuesday, September 12. Thirteen teams are vying to win the second edition of the competition at a grand Final Four to be held at the Paris Dojo on December 16. As the start of the new season approaches, we bring you a complete team review. Discover each day the teams that make up the four groups in the group stages. 

Thursday, September 7 : Presentation of Poule A teams

Friday, September 8: Presentation of Poule B teams

Saturday, September 9: Presentation of Poule C teams

Sunday, September 10: Presentation of Poule D teams

 

AM Asnières Judo 92

France's leading club with 1,400 members, the Hauts-de-Seine banner has doubled up for its first participation in the Judo Pro League, creating a second dedicated structure, AM Judo 92. "It's double the work, but we've known for several years that to reach the top level, you need the resources that come from membership fees, subsidies and partners. Now, the Pro League is a way of reaching partners we didn't have access to before," explains Paul Aspord, a long-standing manager and president since 2000.

At Asnières, the heart of our work lies in training, which produces regular results. Most recently, in 2022 and 2023, a cadet and a cadet from Asnières were crowned world team champions. "Blanc-Mesnil and PSG are more attractive, but we've never tried to recruit elsewhere, we try to do everything in-house", explains the head coach. And it works: in the French junior champion team, five out of seven fighters had started out in baby-judo. "Our teachers are very happy," says Paul Aspord. The only downside to these medal winners is that the club's trainers are now coveted. "One or two have received offers. But they're very keen to pass on the torch. Retaining the loyalty of athletes and instructors is essential for a structure that has "put a lot of emphasis on training" and where results are therefore "longer" in coming.

Begla Dojo

Founded in 1996 on the site of a former factory by Christophe Dumontier, now Technical Director, the Dojo Béglais is the club of a neighborhood and a town: 80% of its 634 members are locals; the others are Béglais residents who have moved to neighboring towns. Faced with rugby (Union Bègles Bordeaux), women's handball (CAB) and athletics, the club positioned itself as a place for socializing that quickly found its place, soon multiplying the number of members by four and becoming the number one in Gironde in its fourth year of existence. The Aquitaine club, which has been awarded the "sport santé" label, has a motto reminiscent of another famous fast-food chain: come to the dojo as you are.

On the high-level side, athletes who have graduated from the Insep in the Paris region usually remain enrolled at the Béglais Dojo, which in turn develops a business model conducive to their progress: sporting, medical, educational and community support. "The aim is to create an attractive model and become more professional," sums up president Olivier Fondriest. In the meantime, the Gironde-based structure relies on the goodwill of all: among the eleven members of its Board of Directors are parents of members who are happy to share their skills.

Nantes Dojo

Founded in 1957, making it one of the city's oldest sports clubs, the Dojo Nantais is now one of the biggest in France, with 1,200 members. "We attract members from beyond Nantes, but our local involvement is recognized," explains Renaud Brossard, who has been president for the past four years. The Dojo Nantais attracts fighters from all over the Loire-Atlantique department. At present, the club's activities are spread over four sites, in order to maintain a strong presence in the neighborhoods and to continue the development of judo and associated disciplines.

"As the President of the French Judo Federation has said, the Pro League helps to bring judo back to the heart of the country," adds Renaud Brossard, for whom the new competition has "added value in terms of brand awareness, which brings in private partners". Until now, however, "it was difficult to publicize our discipline in its traditional form, because a day of competition is long and not always attractive".

While he is not keen to keep his top players "at all costs", the manager at least wants to "offer them a choice". For example, world bronze medallist Manon Deketer spent three seasons in the Pays de la Loire before joining Etoile Sportive du Blanc-Mesnil. The manager also cites Barbara Harel, a native of Nantes and double European champion in 2000 and 2006.

 

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