Partnership: The pupils in Year 7 and 8 of the Cité Scolaire Grand Air of La Baule, in support of the Serge Betsen Academy!

It is with great pleasure that we announce that the Cité scolaire Grand Air of La Baule(France) has set up a partnership with the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA). This secondary school, which welcomes 514 students for the Years 7 to 10 (US equivalent: 6th– 9thgrade) and 625 students for the Years 11 to 13 (grade 10th-12th), wanted to make the SBA the main beneficiary of their cross-country race raising money for charity to be held on 14 April 2023.

The story begins with the meeting of Olivier Le Corre, a rugby fan and History-Geography & Civic Education teacher, with Serge Betsen. Olivier Le Corre came across Serge Betsen on the Rialto Bridge in Venice while he was on a school trip with his students. He then discovered with enthusiasm the mission of the association, discussed it internally back-home and contacted us to discuss the set-up of this partnership.

For the last 14 years, on the initiative of the History-Geography and PE teachers of the school, the pupils in Years 7 and 8 (about 240 in total), including the ULIS Section (students with disabilities) participate in the school’s charity race on the beach of La Baule-Escoublac and the embankment of La Baule. Ahead of time, the students look for sponsors within their entourage who agree to pay an amount per lap, this amount being then donated to a partner association. From 2015 to 2019, the Inde et Vous (“India and You”) association was the beneficiary of the race.

Here are some photos of past editions sent-in by Stéphane Aoustin:

This time, the Serge Betsen Academy will be the lucky beneficiary of the 2023 edition. We would like to thank the students participating in this sporting and solidarity challenge and encourage them to surpass themselves. Serge Betsen had the pleasure to meet the students in January and to present to them the actions and the mission of the Serge Betsen Academy. The money collected during the race will be used for the education component of our association, namely to pay the tutoring teachers, to rent premises and pay the centres’ electricity, water and internet bills. This support is very precious, it enables our disadvantaged children in Cameroon and Mali to study in good conditions, thus maximising their chances of getting a job and improving their standard of living. In the next years, it will then be possible to get dedicated support for our two other components, health and rugby, as well as support for the implementation of specific projects.

We would like to thank Mr. Philippe Paul, head-teacher of the Cité Scolaire, Mrs. Perrai and Mr. Delacroix, deputy head-teachers of the college, Olivier Le Corre, History-Geography & Civic Education teacher who is leading the project, Pauline Basulto, Education Assistant, Fanny Morisson and Anne-Sophie Perraudin, History-Geography & Civic Education Teachers, Martine Chateau, Jean-Pierre Angelvy, Stéphane Aoustin, Physical Education and Sports Teachers, Frédéric Merlet and the Ulis section, and the entire teaching team involved in the organisation of this solidarity race.

We wish a good sponsor quest to all pupils in Y7 and Y8 and good training for the race!

You will find all the practical details in the note published by the establishment:

And finally, for those who want to know more about the civic and solidarity commitment of the school, you can read the following article, published in the Ouest-France:

Article sur Grand Air dans Ouest France

 

 

Translation : Katy Birgé-Wilson

Event: over 11,000 € collected during the Rugbusiness Club event, held on January 19 at the Servette Rugby Genève

On Thursday, January 19, the Servette Rugby Genève and its two sponsors, Helvetia Environnement and Pelichet organised a Rugbusiness Club event, an evening to raise money for charity. The Serge Betsen Academy was the beneficiary association of the event. Serge Betsen had the pleasure of participating to the evening where over 11,000 € were collected for our disadvantaged children in Cameroon and Mali.

 

 

 

 

During this event mixing rugby, solidarity and charity, works of art from our SBA Cameroon artists, bags and cases from Recycling Rugby, three collector jerseys and seats in VIP boxes were sold at auction.

We would like to say a big thank you to the Servette Rugby Genève team for their welcome and support, to the partners and to all the donors who participated in the auctions or made a donation on our platform. It was a very beautiful evening in Geneva, rich in encounters!

 

We want to thank especially:

  • Alain Studer, Alain Vuarnet, Adrien Vigne Donati, Anne Levenard from the Servette Rugby Genève for the organisation of this beautiful event and for their welcome,
  • Vincent Chapel and Mike Sebaut from Helvetia Environnement for their support as a partner of the evening,
  • Stéphane Disant and Régis Serriere from Pelichet for their support as a partner,
  • Quentin Delhoen and his team of Prime & Co.,
  • Etienne Mouthon and Marc Bouchet for their roles as auctioneers,
  • Patrick Lachaussée of the Consulate General of France in Geneva, Philippe Spanghero, Julien Malet, Alexandre Toussaint, Odile Prevot, Jérôme Teiletche for their help prior or during the event,
  • Xavier Lamy, Nora Merad, Etienne Mouthon, Alexandre Ober, Julien Malet, Bernard Bosseau, Mike Chris, Gérard Gabet and Valcoeur Invest, Arthur Bataille, Valéry Ecuyer, Jean-Marie Bouchet for their donations,
  • Gaël Fickou and Romain Taofifénua for their jerseys and their efforts coupled to those of Emile Ntamack to collect the signatures of the internationals of Racing 92 and of Stade Toulousain,
  • Our artists, Philippe and Christelle from the Cameroon SBA-Craft for their works sold at auction, as well as Recycling Rugby for their bags, purses and kits made from recycled rugby balls.

You can watch the video of the event here.

 

Translation : Katy Birgé-Wilson

Cameroon: Distinguished guests on their visit to the Zoétélé centre

On Wednesday, December 7, the new Ambassador of France to Cameroon, H.E. Mr. Thierry Marchand accompanied by Mr. Yann Lorvo, Director of the SCAC (Cooperation and Cultural Action Service), together with Mrs. Virginie Dago, Director of AFD – Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency) in Cameroon, and also Germain Peyraud and Cyndie Marques of PLAY International and James Mbongo of the Diambars Institute came to visit the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) centre of Zoetelé. Also making the trip were the Deputy of the Sub-Prefect and Mr. Paul Aristide Bomba, Mayor of Zoétélé.

 

 

It was a great honour for the children of the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) to welcome all our guests. They greeted them with much enthusiasm prior to showing them around the centre, introducing them to the activities they enjoy on site and then demonstrating their rugby skills.

Our Zoétélé centre welcomes 45 children, which provides them with school support, medical care and control, and of course rugby training. Laurette, a young coach trained by Abaa the manager of the centre, led the rugby training session on December 7. One after the other the different groups put their best rugby-foot forward: the 3-9 year olds from the centre who played a relay game, the 10-13 year olds who played touch rugby, then the 10 girls aged 13-16 who made a few passes and played a five-a-side game, and finally the oldest boys who played a game of rugby 7.

The visit was orchestrated by Abaa Louis Paul, manager of the Zoétélé centre, with the help of Sylvie Ledard, our Project Manager who travelled from France, with our volunteer Christophe, for this occasion. Sylvie and Christophe are currently accompanying the PLAY International and Diambars Instituteteams in their tour of SBA centres. The AFD – French Development Agency has initiated an “Academies” program to be piloted by PLAY International and the Diambars Institute. Among the beneficiaries of this program is the Serge Betsen Academy; so this tour, scheduled for the next few days, aims to carry out an assessment of our centres. Through this program, the SBA is supported over the next three years, to the tune of 165 million West African CFA Franc- XOF (just over $267,000).

Our association had already benefited from the support of the AFD through a donation of 26 million XOF ($42,114) within the framework of the “Sport and Development” program of La Guilde. This then made it possible, between 2020 and 2022, to see 50 young children play rugby in the Zoétélé and Jardin Eden centres in Yaoundé and provide them with school support and medical monitoring.

We would like to warmly thank everyone present on December 7, first and foremost our distinguished guests.

We would also like to thank all those who provided support, as well as the media who came specially to cover the event! A big thank you to Yannick Zanga from Cameroon Tribune for his article reviewing this beautiful day; read here.

 

Below are some photos and videos from the rugby training:

   
 

 

Below, photos of the arrival of Sylvie, our Project Manager with her eleven suitcases containing donations from France so that we could spoil the children of the centres over Christmas and a photo with Bélinga, the nurse of the Centre and her assistant, caregiver, Celestine:

 

 

The centre’s three teachers and our nurse were also present for this very special visit. Laurette, tutor for the centre’s exam classes and rugby coach, as well as Charlène, who is also a teacher at the centre, produced a thank-you video:

Translation: Katy Birgé-Wilson

Cameroon: The HHH of Douala organised a charity walk by in support of our children!

A charity walk took place on Sunday, October 23, at the Douala motocross terrain during which material donations were collected for our association.

The Douala HHH Committee organised this event and we would like to thank them for choosing the Serge Betsen Academy as their beneficiary association.

 

Around sixty walkers took part in this sports and family morning and we thank them all warmly for the donations they brought for our young people. On the partner side, we would like to thank ICRAFON who donated pens and supplies, the SABC Group for the drinks, ADC Mx Park who allowed access to the cross country field, and finally The HHH of Douala for their donation of hygiene products and the organisation of this beautiful event, with the help of Hubert Gonella as point of contact.

Vanelle, a former member of the SBA from the class of 2009 and who now works in Hubert Gonella’s company was present to represent the association; together with Baudouin, a former member of the Bangangté centre who is now a computer science teacher, and Djibril, the manager of the Eau Claire centre in Bangangté. Djibril held a stand about the association and presented the work of Philippe, our deaf and mute protégé who creates decorative objects in pearls and bamboo furniture in the workshop intended for him at the centre.

 

The generous donations, the majority of which were school supplies, hygiene products and clothes, were shared between our centres of Bangangté (Eau Claire) and Bafia.

The distributions have already taken place, and it was a joyful moment for all the children who want to say a massive thank you to the donors. Our team of young rugby players from Bangangté have not been forgotten either, they received soaps in order to be able to wash their sport equipment; they also convey their thanks to the donors.

 

 

Translation: Katy Birgé-Wilson

Support: The Serge Betsen Academy: winner of the Academies Program, instigated by the French Development Agency

It is an absolute honour for our association to be named as one of the winners of the Academies Program instigated by the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement – AFD) and led by the duo PLAY International – Groupe SOS and the Diambars Institute. It warms our hearts to know that the actions that we have carried out in Cameroon for 18 years and in Mali of for 2 years gets this recognition and this exceptional support is a real gift allowing us to strengthen our positive impact on the lives of our children. Indeed, the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA) will receive funding of up to 250,000 Euros (about £214 000) and support over 3 years as part of this program, which will allow us to strengthen our mission, consolidate our action and our projects to improve access to education, gender equality, health and rugby.

This program to strengthen sports and inclusive academies in Africa was officially launched on November 4, 2022 at the Diambars Institute in Saly, Senegal during an official ceremony in the presence of Jérôme Teiletche, Secretary General of the SBA and several important figures whether from the world of politics or of sports. This program, which is the implementation of President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement at the New Africa-France Summit on October 8, 2021, aims to support the emergence of inclusive sports academies on the continent. Four academies present in six African countries are benefiting from support within the framework of this pilot phase: SEED Project, LEAD Edu, Sunward Park High School and the SBA

At the end of this pilot phase, a call for projects will be launched in 2023 in order to support twelve additional academies throughout the African continent.

For more information on the program, please read this article.

 

Translation: Katy Birgé-Wilson

 

 

Event: Thanks to Ovalies UniLaSalle for their support of 16,666€!

The Serge Betsen Academy would like to convey a massive thank you to Ovalies UniLaSalle and all its partners for all the support! This 50,000€ check to be shared with two other great associations, “Une ballade pour Justine et Lou” and “L’Arche à Beauvais ” will change many lives!

 

Remise du chèque des Ovalies UniLaSalle 2022 !

 

Our President Serge Betsen was delighted to participate in the Ovalies adventure this year and to represent the association on 6 and 7 May in Beauvais, these are his words:

 

“It is always a real pleasure to participate in a rugby event and watch brilliant students practicing my sport! Congratulations to all the participants of the Ovalies UniLaSalle and the PURPAN School of Engineers (VII female and XV male), LéoRugby (VII male), VetAgro Sup (Pompom) for their respective wins.

It is wonderful to see young people participating in this project which combines sport, solidarity and sharing by helping associations such as “Une ballade pour Justine et Lou”, “L’Arche à Beauvais ”, and the SBA.

A big thank you also to Dimitri Yachvili and Fanny Horta for their time and to all the curious people who came to our stand to find out more about our actions in Cameroon and Mali. It was a real pleasure for me, and Charles-Edouard whom I thank for his help, to meet you.

Many thanks too to the Ovalies team, Paul Vincant and Albane Tenneson for their warm welcome and support. Thanks to Coucou Hibou and Paul-Louis de Juglart for supporting the SBA through its collection of Olympia jerseys.

Congratulations to all for the success of this great charity tournament of students’ rugby.”

 

Translation : Katy Birgé-Wilson

Event: Auction Sale in Clichy in support of the Serge Betsen Academy!

Our President, Serge Betsen has kept very strong ties with the city of Clichy-la-Garenne, where it all started for him. Serge Betsen made his rugby debut at CS CLICHY and when he returns there it is always with a lot of emotion.

During the last day of the POP TRANSVERSALE exhibition, on June 29, the town hall of Clichy organised an auction in partnership with the auction house LILADAM ENCHERES. Six physical artworks by YSY were put on sale along with their NTF (a one-of-a-kind and impossible to duplicate digital token) which you can discover below.

 

YSY, whose real name is Youssef SY, is a talented artist passionate about the iconic characters of 90’s pop culture. A few days before the sale, Serge Betsen had the chance to meet the artist and visit his exhibition. Our President was also warmly welcomed by Mr. Stéphane Cochepain, first deputy mayor of Clichy, Caroline Mercier, deputy mayor in charge of community life, children’s rights and child protection, Luc Mercier, Deputy Mayor for Culture, International Relations and Tourism, and their teams.

The town hall of Clichy had suggested, and the artist agreed, that part of the profits from the sale would be donated to the Serge Betsen Academy (SBA). On the evening of the auction, following the sale of three artworks: Petit Prince, Goldorak and Gaulois together with their NTF, the very nice sum of 6,275€ was donated to our association.As for the other artworks: Robot, Rouquin and Alien (see above) as well as their NTF, they are still for sale. If you are interested please contact the YSY representative, Vincent Astolfi (vincastolfi@gmail.com) before July 22. A portion of the profits from these sales will also be donated to our association.

The entire SBA would like to thank YSY, Mr. Rémi Muzeau, Mr. Stéphane Cochepain, Mrs. Caroline Mercier, Mr. Luc Mercier, and the entire team of the town hall of Clichy and of course, the buyers for their support toward the SBA. We congratulate YSY and the town hall of Clichy as well as the Pavillon Vendôme and the auction house of LILADAM ENCHERES for this beautiful exhibition.

Translation: Katy Birgé-Wilson

“An evening with Serge Betsen & Friends”: A successful charitable event thanks to the participants!

Our event “An evening with Serge Betsen & Friends” was a major success on all accounts. Serge Betsen and all our team want to thank everyone who contributed to this successful charitable event on 19th May 2022 and say a massive thank you to TFA Ltd and Arun Sharma for organizing the evening!

It was a pleasure to spend the evening with 50 generous and enthusiastic, share a delicious dinner at M Restaurant Victoria in a great atmosphere thanks to Simon Shaw. The rugby legends were in top shape, the quiz by TFA Ltd was great fun and the auctions by Go Fundraising were fab. And of course, the discussions about rugby were passionate. Congrats to the Hadley Herberts team for being the 2022 SBA Quiz Champions!

We are pleased to let you know that the benefits of the event are a bit more than £14,000. This sum will be used to carry out our mission in Cameroon and Mali and will make sure a positive impact on the lives of our children.

We are so grateful to our sponsors and partners for making this event possible. Thank you to:

– our sponsors: Audio Network, Event headline sponsor and STH Group UK, Quiz round sponsor
– the organiser of the evening, TFA Ltd and Arun Sharma for offering his time and skills
– our legends, Aled Brew, Bryan Redpath, Kevin Maggs and of course Serge Betsen for hosting the quiz
LePetitJournal.com Londres and French Morning London for helping us with promotion.
– Ed Telling for being our photographer.

Please find here the photos of the event by TELLING PHOTOGRAPHY.

See you next year for another edition!

 

  

Event: An evening with Serge Betsen & Friends, Dinner, live quiz and legends Q&A, 19 May 2022, M Victoria Street London

We are very pleased to let you know that we have set a new date and a new location for our event.
Our “Evening with Serge Betsen & Friends – Dinner, live quiz and legends Q&A” organized by TFA Ltd will take place on Thursday 19th May at 6:00pm at M Victoria Street, 74 Victoria St, London, SW1E 6SQ, UK. This event will be sponsored by Audio Network, as Event headline sponsor, along with STH (Sports Travel & Hospitality Group), as Quiz round sponsor.

 

The rugby legends will discuss, dispute and digest what’s been happening on the pitch, and we hope you will be able to join us. It should be a fantastic evening which includes a delicious 3-course meal, opportunity to mix and quiz our Rugby Legends and the chance to win the title of SBA Quiz Champions.

 

Please join us from 6pm. Upon arrival please advise the concierge you are attending the Serge Betsen Academy event and they will show you the cloakroom and the Grill room, where the event is taking place. You will be able to have drinks and pay for them at the bar. The dress code is smart casual.

 

Please register your team and book your dinner (£99), table (£500) or online quiz spot (£10) here! You can pay for your tickets via our donation page hereWe would really appreciate if you would be able to do this prior to the event. There will be an auction organized by Go Fundraising so get ready to bid! All proceeds will go to our charity.

 

Also, please note that the menu will be the following. If you can let us know in advance your preferences by email (mailys@sergebetsenacademy.org et sba-quiz@tfaltd.co.uk), by Friday 13 May 5pm, it would be great.

 

– STARTERS
1) FRIED CHICKEN BAO Fermented Chilli Glaze | Kaffir Lime
or, 2) BURRATA & RADISHES Black Curry | Honey | Walnuts (V)
– MAINS
1) BRITISH ASHDALE FARM Sirloin 300G | Black Garlic | Chips | Sauce
or, 2) CACIO E PEPE Pecorino | Butter | Pepper (V)
– DESSERT
CHOCOLATE BROWNIE Raspberry Gel | Honeycomb | Snickers Ice Cream

 

For those who cannot join us, it will be possible to take the quiz online, however, you won’t be able to join the evening from your screen.

 

We can’t wait to spend the evening with you and your friends. Please spread the word!

 

Event: The Ovalies UniLaSalle 2022 are supporting us!

We are very happy to have been chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the Ovalies UniLaSalle 2022 with the charities, Une ballade pour Justine et Lou and L’Arche à Beauvais.
We can’t wait to attend this event on 6 and 7 May in Beauvais! It is the biggest uni rugby tournament with a charitable touch and we fell very grateful to be part of it!
Serge Betsen will be present at the tournament.

Thank you to the Ovalies UniLaSalle team and to their partners for their support.

 

 

Ovalies UniLaSalle