For several years, the Syndicat Interdépartemental des Parcs des Sports (SIPS) 75-93 (Paris – Seine-Saint-Denis) has had four PREOSPORT® and is a truly satisfied customer. Didier Gheux, director-general, explains some of the reasons why.
When and why did you decide to install PREOSPORT® outdoor gyms?
SIPS 75-93, a public body funded by the Conseil Général of Seine-Saint-Denis and the City of Paris, has two parks: a 30-hectare park in la Courneuve, and a 12-hectare park in Bobigny. Both have several pieces of sports equipment (large playing fields, tennis courts, etc.). However, there was some conflict between clubs, which have allocated time slots, and the young people living nearby, who wanted to practice whenever they liked. Plus we couldn’t build several gyms while we still needed covered sports equipment for schoolchildren.
Consequently, in 2009, we decided to install two PREOSPORT® in La Courneuve. Then, following their success, a third was constructed in 2013 and then another in the same year on the Bobigny site.
What are the benefits of a PREOSPORT® for you?
Firstly, the fact that it’s a closed structure which retains a link with the outside world. Young people don’t like to be enclosed, but they do still need shelter so they can play even if the weather is bad. So it’s the perfect compromise. Also, this kind of structure means that different kinds of users can take part in various sports. The PREOSPORT® is mainly used for basketball and football, particularly 5- or 7-a-side, which is interesting as it’s the most common game and it doesn’t take up half of a large playing field. However, we are also thinking about using it for other sports, such as 3v3 basketball or even outdoor bodybuilding. I even think that it would be possible to use a PREOSPORT® to cover other equipment, like a beach volleyball field, which would allow people to practice so-called ‘outdoor’ sports all year round.
So a lot of people are using the PREOSPORT®?
They certainly are: proportionately, it’s the most used piece of sports equipment at both sites. It’s used by a lot of people, by young people from the neighbourhood, schools and clubs. Between March and October there are always lots of people every day, and during the summer, from 9am to 11pm. So it also has an important social aspect, but also a non-negligible economic aspect. In short, a PREOSPORT® is a lot less expensive than a gym. Plus not as many people go to gyms in the winter. So they are intermediate structures which fit perfectly, and which are a very attractive investment.21