Castres. Forbidden grounds: how rugby clubs organize themselves

the essential
Since the city’s grass pitches have been closed due to the drought, Castres Olympique and Aviron Castres have adapted but remain worried about the future.

Since the City of Castres took the decision, on September 5, to prohibit the use of all grass sports grounds in the town, until October 2 inclusive, the clubs have had to adapt and find solutions to guarantee the smooth running of their training sessions.

For this, the CO rugby school asked the town hall to be able to train at Gourjade Park. “They mowed and marked out the land, which allows us for the moment to have an emergency door. The difficulty is that it forces our volunteers to move all the teaching material each time since we don’t there is no room and above all, there, we have no changing rooms. And it will quickly cause a problem if it starts to rain…”, named Fabrice Norgieux, head of the CO rugby school. Another complication is that of training schedules. “In one of the categories who train in the morning and in the afternoon, so that’s not a problem, on the other hand for some players who train in the evening and suddenly, since it’s getting dark more and more earlier, we are already obliged to reduce the training time”, specifies the person in charge, who already anticipates the extension of the municipal decree of “protection of the land” which risks drought and the prefectural ban on watering. “We don’t want it, but we are preparing to continue working without a field until the All Saints holidays. For the matches, we have also organized ourselves with the Tarn committee and we will not receive Castres but we hope that it won’t last. Somehow, it’s a new blow for us, after the Covid, the wind and the heat in June”, adds Fabrice Norgieux, worried about the future. “We adapt each time but I think we are reaching the end of a system. Today, the solution of training at Gourjade is suitable for us, but we lack synthetic pitch, we lack a playground. There are emergency situations and we know that we are not a priority, but I think we will have to think about longer-term solutions.

As for Avirons Castres, the cadets, in agreement with the Revel club, train there. “In Castres, we use the Borde Basse playground: we adapt, with cones. The ground is rather flat, without too many holes, but that does not prevent injuries. The dry grounds remain dangerous. Our senior team was able to play in Labruguière this weekend, and we will see for the next matches”, explained Didier Garrouste, co-president of Aviron castrais.

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