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garbaTo make Beninese petanque shine more. Such is the objective pursued by the Beninese Federation of Petanque. And to achieve this goal, investments must be made. 11.925.000 F.CFA is the total amount of subsidies allocated by the BPF to the different regional leagues and 136 clubs. At the end of this ceremony, Garba Yaya, president of the Beninese Federation of Petanque, answered our questions...
After the subsidy received from the Ministry of Sports, it is time for redistribution ?
It must be said that we have benefited from a grant of 50 million divided into two tranches. One part to animate the national level and the other to take part in international competitions or on the continental level. For a long time, we have been giving subsidies to the leagues because the permanent animation of pétanque is the responsibility of these decentralised structures. And since last year we have started to think directly about the clubs. They were entitled to certain materials that we gave them. This year, we thought that each club already has the material. That's why we decided to give them a grant to help them.
On what basis were the lump sums allocated to the different clubs ?
Each department runs the championship and the amount of travel each team will do depends on the size of the department in question. If we take the example of Atacora, the clubs are more than 100km apart and to come and take part in a departmental championship the distance is much greater. So we felt that the clubs in Atacora should have more subsidies than the clubs in the Atlantic-Littoral region where a zemidjan can be used to get to the competition venue. And so on until the end. This is the criterion that guided us in the distribution of subsidies.
And at the level of the leagues, how was this done ?
For the leagues, we took the criteria of the animation of pétanque. The leagues that animate better are the Atlantic-Littoral, Borgou-Alibori and Ouémé-Plateau. If you go to Borgou-Alibori, every Sunday there is a competition called Tour à Tour and from that moment on, these leagues have had at least 1 million each. The other leagues we have accompanied to give them a taste for animation and that they take the lead on the three flagship leagues: Mono-Couffo, Zou-Collines of course which must come to the level of the others. The Atacora has already taken the lead with their new president by organising competitions regularly and that is what we need. We need the expression of petanque and it is a sport that can be played at any age. From the youngest 8-9 years old to the oldest 69-75 years old it is played. And it is a safe sport.
Apparently you are a happy president because your discipline has enough members ?
It's true, today, without any modesty, it is the discipline that has the most members. Far from it, it is the discipline which is still the most animated on the whole national territory. Even more particularly, it is the discipline that reveals Benin on the international and continental level. Several times, we have been on the roof of Africa and we were vice-champion of the world. This shows that it is a discipline that must be taken seriously and I want to prove that today President Patrice Talon has taken the measure of things. By accepting to organise the World Cup in Benin. It is because he knows that this discipline can reveal more about Benin. That's why he plans to build us a bowling alley of international standards never built in Africa. We are proud of him and we hope that it will hold.
Will Benin be ready in September 2023 to host this world bowls meeting ?

Madagascar, Senegal and Morocco have hosted World Cups but in makeshift bowling alleys. Our country doesn't want to be a bit casual, our country wants to make the mark of the champions. That's why the president decided that the World Cup will be played in a well-built bowling alley with international standards. The site is known and the people have already been compensated. Today we are ready for the architect to start. It is precisely because of Covid-19 that the travel costs have increased. The Ministry of Sport is obliged to increase the costs in order to achieve the objectives. Let me tell you that it is a hefty sum of 9 billion to build the international standard boulodrome ever built in Africa, even in the world. It is because we want the world that things are taking a little longer. See you in September 2023.
Interview by : Damien Tolomissi - Gaskiyani Info

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