Let’s talk with Lionel Laugier, president of EBRA and the “boss” of Marseille Beach 5s

How is the organization of Marsiglia Tournament proceeding? What will be the news?

The organization goes on for the best we are filing all the grant files and preparing the papers for the teams, the public and the partners. The big news is that our tournament will be called: SOUTH BEACH RUGBY FIVE MARSEILLE FRANCE – EUROPEAN SERIES Also another novelty will certainly be the change of venue of the tournament with the return of our organization first weekend of July the 5.6 and 7 of July. So perhaps we work French Union recognize in 2019 Marseille like test tournament for the tackle on the sand Beach Rugby Five in France!

Let’s talk about EBRA SERIES: there have been so many changes, especially in the regulation, how do you live this moment? Do you think that these innovations were useful for the growth of the series?

The philosophy of the founding members of the EBRA was to make known and recognized with the authorities of Rugby World and the general public in particular this innovative discipline of Beach Rugby. The founding idea was between us not looking for what EBRA can bring you but bringing its experience, organizational expertise, network of relationships and partners to help EBRA grow! These changes for our European Beach Rugby Association (EBRA), which is celebrating its 6th anniversary this year, had to be redesigned with the organization of the EBRA Series final master’s program, which will now be a real final tournament with the teams taking part are involved in all EBRA member tournaments. We are also working to ensure that teams playing the game on and off the field are also rewarded. This is the rison for which we wanted to set up Wild Cards. We will be vigilant on the return to the spirit of the game by enforcing the basic rule wanted by the Italian founders of Beach Rugby Five I want to talk about the interpretation of the rule of 2 seconds! A meeting will be held in April 2019 with new Disciplinary Officer Andrea Leone and Alumni Dave Drudy as Referee Guide for Referees and Referees designated by their respective tournaments.

Beach rugby is a fantastic sport. In your opinion, what must change to become a “professional” movement?

We are at a turning point in our Beach Rugby Five movement to tackle in the sand. The IRB now World Rugby officially recognizes in 2010 the rules of Beach Rugby Five to stick in the sand. For the first time in December 2014 and 2015 World Rugby with a French President Bernard Lapasset organizes in Rio de Janeiro an exhibition tournament before the Olympic Games in Rio and chooses the Beach Rugby Five to tackle to promote Rugby on a football ground ! A new shift has been made for two years with Rugby Europe, which is organizing with our Russian friends the European Championship of Nations in Moscow. We realize with all this evolution that power and money are not enough for the success of a new practice of Beach Rugby Five. The Beach Rugby Five must be made even more popular through our tournaments, the spirit of the game in Europe and beyond by working on other continents. We must multiply the initiatives of collaborations with all those who wish to practice, help us or organize tournaments in the initiatory spirit of Beach Rugby Five. To be recognized as a professional discipline, it will be necessary, in my humble opinion, initially to continue our work of structuring the internal organizational and financial means that we have wanted to put in place within the EBRA. Among other things, the decisions taken at the General Assembly in The Hague by a fee for organizing the EBRA Series Master Finals, the introduction of a participation card for the EBRA Series tournaments for players, coachs and managers … At the end, I think that if we become structurally and economically independent, then we will have more weight to find renowned partners who will naturally lead us to professionalism.

Looking at the future of EBRA, what would you like to happen? Where should you go to work according to you to establish yourself definitively?

I would go back to what I said above and I would add that we need more stability in the EBRA executive by working like traditional rugby on fundamentals. By that I mean that the EBRA recognized today by the federation Rugby Europe (member of the Beach Rugby Commission, Snow Rugby & Seven) must continue and be an independent organization with its own means without waiting for the world rugby institutions enormously in return ! We must continue our efforts to work together by seeking out and creating our own identity, our own Rugby DNA. The organizers of EBRA tournaments must continue their work of organizer and propose the best tournaments possible so that our organization EBRA continues to take value and expertise! We think of getting closer to a commercial structure or even creating our own entity. Our organization is based on trust and trust does not exclude control. This is the reason why I asked Giancarlo Stocco our Founding President to take over the General Secretariat so that Rui Loureiro also founding member of the EBRA can continue his quality structural work in the Iberian Peninsula but also through the relations Internationals that he may have with other organizations. It is imperative to continue and structure the EBRA so that it is independent in the future from all points of view. If we wish to continue our action plan for EBRA, we need to communicate more regularly and professionally. This is why we chose to return to Davide Macor and Enrico Turello in a role of media manager for the press communication part, FB and website. The future is also based on our ability to adapt and the initiative taken by our new Vice President Kasper Bleijenberg, who will be working within EBRA to develop a European Beach Rugby Tour for young people. the engine of a future generation of true beach rugby players.

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