REPORTAGE No Limit is above all a crazy Toulouse rugby tournament. But behind this event, an association works all year round for the integration of people in exile

Toulouse : How an association relies on rugby without borders to break down barriers

Touch rugby is played with five players and no tackle. Drawing. — Thinkstock – Canva

  • The Rugby No Limit association has been offering rugby touch training since 2018 to people in exile and to the general public. (without tackle).
  • In addition to discovering and practicing a team sport, the association offers players who need it a real integration path to help them integrate, learn French and find a job.
  • This weekend, the big annual No Limit tournament will bring together more than 700 players on the theme of the Gauls, in a very festive atmosphere. The event, at the origin of the association, is free and open to all.

The youngest is 17, the oldest 43. Their names are Junior, Momin, Pauline, Lionel. Congolese, French, Palestinian or Gabonese, they are about forty to five. come together every Monday evening to share a touch rugby workout that is good for the body and the mind. Initially, the No Limit was a big, festive and lively rugby tournament, open to everyone. tous, whose 5th edition will be held this weekend at; Launaguet. But since 2018, the association has had another vocation: to integrate people in exile, by offering them a double playground. a real professional integration path.

Toulouse: How an association relies on rugby without borders to break down barriers

Junior and his teammates at; training. – M.-D. Lacour – 20 Minutes

Here we play at; five, like the fingers of a hand. No performance logic. “ We let off steam and above all we have fun! », says Pauline Louge, responsible for the socio-sports part. But if their happiness to play together is communicative, behind the smiles, shadows sometimes pass. “ I spent every night at cry. And watching the news had become impossible,” Junior cowardly cowardly. Of nationality Congolese, installed for almost ten years in Ukraine as a teacher, he fled the war a few weeks ago. No Limit rugby has « given strength » to face this second uprooting and move forward. He now makes others benefit from it by volunteering to give French lessons to Ukrainian refugees from Toulouse, some of whom join the city. their turn the rugby team.

A double accompaniment on the ground and much further

Often newcomers are very reserved. According to Pauline, « the collective helps them to; to gain confidence, to develop their soft skills [general skills] and their level of French, the first step in making them “employable” Then, we try to teach them the codes to present themselves at the meeting. a job interview or a successful first day at work. » The association goes further: it has developed partnerships with several Toulouse companies and wants to provide them with qualified and motivated candidates. “ Most players have foreign degrees which are hard to come by. assert in France, specifies Pauline. We help them to find the gateways to a job that really suits them and that makes sense, not just an unskilled job. »

Some come for the sport. Lionel, accountant, has arrived. following an injury: first dismissed at the Touwin Rugby Club which plays a classic game, he joins the No Limit because touch rugby (without tackles) is less violent for the body. But that's not the only reason. “ I came from Gabon in 2006 for my studies. I know the feeling of being far from home, exile, the administrative hassle, the constant fear of not being in good standing, he explains. I’ve been touched by the message of the association. » As for Hanry, 17, he found “ his sport » in addition to “ a real family ». Previously a footballer in Cameroon, the youngest who deposits on the ground will soon play winger in a club at the same time. XV.

Insert No Limit

“ In France, I love food, cheese… and equality women-men », says Momin, very serious with her big smile. Palestinian, he arrived in France three years ago without speaking a word of French. Difficult to believe, while this very « ideal son-in-law » unfolds his journey in the language of Molière with humor and subtlety. “ It’s not easy to understand the little things of everyday life when you’ve come from a very different culture. For example, here people talk very loudly on public transport, he laughs. At first I found it fascinating, I said to myself: how lucky they are to be so here! comfortable! ”

On his own, he is living proof that the integration process works. First a player, he found thanks to; the team his job in CDI as head of the local branch of Ovale Citoyen, another association at the service of integration through sport. At the same time, he continues the No Limit training sessions and uses his large network to recruit new players.

For the curious, the No Limit training sessions, on Monday evenings at ; the Maison du Rugby des Argoulets, are open to visitors; all. The association does not require any membership fees. Because as Momin says, « money, for what? We pass the ball and good humor here. You just have to come with her! »

Inclusive but still just as festive

The No Limit tournament will bring together more than 700 players from all walks of life this weekend on the theme of the Gauls. For spectators, admission is free. The final of the top 14 between Castres and Montpellier will be broadcast on Friday at 9 p.m. on a giant screen. Full program.