Volleyball. New president of VBP Niort, Valérie Gibouin “wants to help this flagship club”

Volleyball. New president of VBP Niort, Valérie Gibouin “wants to help this flagship club”
Volleyball. New president of VBP Niort, Valérie Gibouin “wants to help this flagship club”

Having recently joined the VBP Niort structure, Valérie Gibouin has taken over from Tony Bonnet, the outgoing president. The former high-level handball and basketball player, now a sports teacher at the Jacques-Bujault agricultural high school in Melle, deciphers this change of presidency and the objectives of the Sainte-Pezenne club for next season.

Why was there this change of presidency?

“Tony (Bonnet) wanted to stop this role for reasons that are his own. For my part, I have just arrived at the club, through my son, Valentin. We were very well received and we saw superb values ​​of training and conviviality. As no one wanted to take on the role of president, I thought about it. Even if next year, Valentin will be less on the field (he will join the French pole and has been selected for the French U18 team, Editor’s note), I wanted to, and it is a challenge for me. I want to help this club which will be a flagship at the women’s level, the only Elite team in Poitou-Charentes.”

“Sit in the Elite and stay there”

How will you manage the rise of your women’s team to the Elite?

“The most difficult thing is the budget. In terms of sport, the Elite, let’s not lie to ourselves, is a level above National 2, but our girls are ready. They did everything they could to move up this year. I want to point out that we were offered promotion because other clubs were pulling out, but especially because we were the best second team at the national level. We’re going to have to increase the budget, because recruiting professionals has a cost. We’re looking for funding. Next year, we want to sit in this championship and stay there.”

More generally, are there other objectives?

“The club’s goal is to play at a high level, while training. That’s been the watchword for a long time. If you look at Anatole Chaboissant, he left the Niort club and is now in the French team. For me, that’s what sport is all about. If you don’t train, you become an elitist club. I’ve experienced that. I started low, and luckily there were people who trusted me and trained me.”

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