By Thomas Larroquette
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It was the sad news of July: one of the most devastating fires in recent years to hit the Gironde. For more than two weeks, two fires declared themselves to Landiras and at the Teste-de-Buch. In all, 21,000 hectares were burned and nearly 37,000 people were evacuated.
Fires that also affected the town of Cazaux, and more particularly its rugby club. The team’s living space, called the “clubhouse”, was ravaged by flames. For Actu Rugby, its president Didier Dupuis looks back on these sad incidents and shows gratitude following the mobilization of the oval world.
“We had unforgettable memories in there…”
The town of Cazaux was permanently affected by the fires and two houses were destroyed. Located on the shores of the famous Lac de Cazaux, more than a kilometer from the rugby stadium, the Cazaux Olympique clubhouse has also suffered a sad fate in recent days. The president of the club Didier Dupuis remembers, with sadness: “I was on Wednesday July 13 at 7 p.m. to watch the freezers which were spinning. I wanted to check that nothing had tripped? because the fire had already been gone for a little while. And finally, a whole burn in the night from Wednesday to Thursday, around 6 am ”.
Present since 1987 within the Girondin club of which he was a player for a long time, the strong man of the CO continues his story:
The mayor of La Teste-de-Buch called me around 8am the next day to tell me that the hut had burned down. It was very hard… I’ve been there for 35 years, I’ve gone through all the steps from player to president today. We had unforgettable memories in there…
The inconveniences inside the clubhouse were considerable: fridges, freezers, poles, shields and training equipment, bar with beer machine, games of jerseys, balls… There is nothing left! Didier Dupuis had also left 150 kilos of duck breast there, but also confit for the rugby festivals which were to take place the second week of August.
The FFR, the LNR and the professional clubs in support of Cazaux
Faced with the extent of the damage, the president of Cazaux, Didier Dupuis, appreciated the immense mobilization of the world of rugby, both professional and amateur: “Oh yes, I have never had so many calls or emails! I even received letters from professional and amateur clubs, it happens from everywhere. Bordeaux-Bègles and the Race 92 contacted me in particular”.
For the Girondin leader, this solidarity of rugby players is a real opportunity: “I did not expect to be so supported. In the end, I don’t have much to do on my side, because everyone is helping us”. The New Aquitaine League de rugby was responsible, for example, for recovering training equipment to donate to the CO. She also launched and shared an online kitty with all professional and amateur clubs to come to the aid of the Cazaux club. Insurance will take care of the rest.
The French Rugby Federation also flew to the aid of Cazaux Olympique through its president: “Bernard Laporte witnessed this in front of the television while he was on vacation in Corsica and he called me the next day”, says Didier Since .
Also note that on Saturday August 27, a friendly match between the Arcachon bay (National 2) and Gujan Mestras (Fédérale 1) will take place at the Plaine des Sports Gilbert-Moga, in La Teste-de-Buch, and all the profits from the entries will be entirely donated to the Cazaux club. Committed to the Championship Regional 2Cazaux Olympique will resume competition on September 18 and hope to find a new place to live soon.
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