100 years of US La Charité, everyone

What are two years when one is a hundred years old? It is with this in mind that the Town Hall of La Charité-sur-Loire and the Union Sports Charitable decided to organize the celebrations of the centenary of the Union of Sports in the city on 24, 25 and 26 June. She will then be in her 103rd year, but it doesn’t matter.

Creation and domination

On November 8, 1919, about fifty young men gathered at the Grand Café in La Charité-sur-Loire to found USC. Jean-Marie Joyot, the great Charitois merchant, takes the lead, with the support of Gabriel Clayeux, owner of Hell on the Rue de la Verrerie.

The sport was already in La Charité-sur-Loire before the creation of the Universal Sports Federation, but as former USC basketball player Dominic Barron explains, “The clubs were odds and ends. There were football, school rugby, shooting, fencing, athletics, and cycling. Except for The latter, they would compose the first sections of USC.

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Charitois Cycling Club (CCC) would always remain distinct under the name Charitois Cycling Club (CCC) until its disappearance in the 2000s. The Dubois family has been distinguished there from generation to generation.
Until 1924, the University of Southern California would know the Pelican Club competition, where one could practice boxing, swimming, rugby and fencing. But, as with the Bleuets Charitois soccer team, the Pelican Club was absorbed by the USC in 1924.

The era of diversity

The year 1927 marked the beginning of a phase of diversification of the overall sports divisions. That year, she entered the swimming association. It was the turn of basketball in 1931, table tennis in 1934 and petanque in 1936. Since the Champ de Voires had not yet been built, it all happened in EPS.

The divisions continued to spread over the following decades. Boxing experienced a golden age in the 1950s, with the Judo divisions born in 1952, tennis in 1961, archery in 1971, weightlifting and bodybuilding in 1973 and handball in 1977.
Fans also showed up in 1968. Since then, they have been replaced by the stick-twirling division that had a few members but featured a regional champion.

USC currently brings together twenty-one divisions: aikido, badminton, basketball, rowing, capoeira, running, badminton, soccer, futsal, gym, handball, judo, bodybuilding, swimming, petanque, rugby, Long song, tennis, archery, archery and stick twirling. But there are also a few associated clubs, such as Moto-club des Trois Tours, to have access to twenty-seven or twenty-eight charitable sports entities.

Celebrating all athletes

The June festivities are meant to celebrate this USC history. but also among all the sporting practices of La Charité by honoring those who wrote and continue to write the great hours of charitable sport. Like siblings Julian and Bourgoyne, boxers in the 1950s, or Charité Basket 58 players, who until last season played in National 1.
As for the fiftieth anniversary in 1970, the climax of the festivities will be a grand parade of athletes that will take place on Saturday 25 June, between 4 pm and 6 pm. ‘This parade will be a symbol of the city’s recognition of the sporting movement,’ explains Henri Vallis, Mayor of La Charité. In each delegation, the children will be in USC colors while the athletes will be in each club’s clothing. Parade Dominique Barron also wishes to be open to former licensees from each department. And Charitois Club.It will in any case be accompanied by music and visual entertainment.

Three days of celebration across town

The festivities will begin on Friday morning the 24th with a day dedicated to school sports. Les élèves de primaire ainsi que certains collégiens s’affronteront lors de tournois au stade de La Chapelle-Montlinard avant que le soir aient lieu l’inauguration de deux nouveaux courts de tennis, dont les travaux doivent un match demaiala, buter for football. A friendly match between players from District 1 of La Charité and players of AJ Auxerre, who plays in Ligue 2, initially planned, cannot take place. So Dominic Barron suggests calling in the Cosne, Decize or Imphy players and coaches who once wore a USC jersey to a real Charitois rally. After this festive match, the music festival will storm the sports festival with a performance by the Orchester d’harmonie Charitoise.

The next day, some entertainment will take place around the weekly market. Then the show will take place. A festive evening around sports, on the ramparts, will end today. From 8 to 10 p.m., there will be a concert on the Champ Baratté, followed by the lighting of the ramparts at nightfall. There will then be a dance party with a DJ.

Finally on Sunday, while young people will be able to take part in activities in the Jardins des Bénédictins and on the grounds of the Champ Baratté, there will be round tables at the Priory. These are three one-hour discussions about refereeing, disabled sports or adaptive sports and women’s sports. City Council and USC are always looking for experts from various sports who are able to oversee these round tables. “The presentation of trophies and medals from the city to the symbolic Charitois of the municipal sports movement will end this weekend,” concluded Henry Vallis.

Skip the weekend

If the bulk of the festivities will take place between June 24 and 26, they will already start a few weeks earlier. An exhibition will begin on May 15 at Saint-Pierre Church. Dominic Barron, who is responsible for managing it, immersed himself in the many volumes that he dedicated for years to honor all. “I want this to be a showcase for all sports and not just about USC,” he says. What is closer to his heart is the company of all those who once exercised at La Charité. “Two Germans came to see me because they were told I had old photos. On one of them, the gentleman recognized his father who had come to play football during the Bidenkopf twins. Tears were in his eyes as I gave him the photo. This jubilee must be an opportunity to meet around memories like this.”

Photographs and memorabilia, Dominique Baron was also presented by Jean-Michel Marchand, who is responsible for authoring a book to go along with the exhibition. The latter has already written books dedicated to football and two-wheelers (motorcycles and cycling) in Nevers as well as to the 100th anniversary of the founding of Färenis Füzel. The book is already available for pre-order from USC for 25 euros and will be published at the end of May.

Felix Polit

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