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On 02 February 2009 at 00:00 | updated on 03 February 2009 at 12:56

24 Hours of Le Mans 2009 : questions to Tony Mogis

24 Hours of Le Mans 2009 : questions to Tony Mogis

Henceforth, it is official, The 24 Hours Roller of Le Mans initially scheduled in July 11th and 12th, 2009 will finally take place in June 27th and 28th. The reactions of the Internet users were numerous. Thus, we decided to know more about. Interview of Tony Mogis, director of the organization...

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Deutsche Version hier - version française ici

"This calendar change is beyond our control"

Hi Tony, the date modification of the 24 Hours Roller of Le Mans 2009 destabilized quite a lot of skaters: how come that the calendar was changed 5 months before the event?

Initially, June 27th and 28th were the only date available with a 100% guarantee to rent the circuit of Le Mans. It is necessary to take into account the official competitions referenced in the FFSAcalendar (car-racing) and the unofficial events, namely: the seminars of companies and the other incentives every weekend.
Thus, the density of the circuit rents is very important.
The French Federation of Roller-Skating ( FFRS) had retained the same date for the French speed-skating championships. We could not obviously position the 24 Hours the same weekend. Thus, we thus changed to July, 11st and 12nd with a guarantee of 90 % availability of the circuit (it was our unique possibility).
There was an unfortunate modification. Generally, the sports calendar is scheduled one year in advance, but it changes regularly. The date of July, 11st and 12nd in July was occupied again.
At the same time, the FFRS announced us that it had just moved its French championships. We could then schedule the event to it initial date : June 27th and 28th... we did it.
Henceforth, the date is definitively scheduled.
Once again, I sincerely apologize to the participants for this inconvenience beyond our control.

How many persons work in the organization? Employees, volunteers...

The association "La Tribu Rollers" henceforth counts 160 volunteers. There is no employee within it.
But as any important sport event which needs to develop, we recruit professionals in very specific universes:
- "Chronocourse" for the timing,
- "Can do" for wide screens,
- "SPI" for the security,
- "Philippidès" for the communication,
- "Ucar" for the car rental,
- "R.M.C" for the food,
- "ACO" for the circuit,
- "ITF" for the printing of posters and the other promotional supports,
- etc.

An huge event such as the 24 Hours Roller of Le Mans is rare in roller-skating, how do you explain it?

It is a long story.
I dashed into this adventure about 10 years ago. I took the risk of renting the legendary circuit of 24 Hours of Le Mans (then, I was student in the minimum guaranteed income). I organized the first 24 hours rollers.
I asked the support of numerous banks during more than one year. I insisted regularly but nobody wanted to lend me whatever it is, until a banker believes in my project and had faith in me. The adventure could begin.
The first year we 600 skaters participated to the event, but the weather was horrible. We thought that nobody would not come back the next year.
Nevertheless, during summer after the event, we received a large amount of mails with congratulations, inciting us to continue.
We finally decided to organize it again and we seduced 2.000 participants in year 2 and 3. It allowed us to mop our important debt of the 1st edition. I was finally able to sleep normally I have to admit it.
Then, the event became known. The number of participants increased and allowed us to develop: 4000 competitors in 2003 then 5000 in 2004. Henceforth, We voluntarily blocked to 6000 skaters.
Now, it is the biggest European event of roller-skating on a mythical site.
MECCA OF ROLLER in a sense...

What is the recipe of this success?

An all over the world recognized site, usually used by some privileged persons, a unique and innovative concept in roller events... which makes that every year participants take pleasure to come and participate. It is a friendly weekend with pals.
It is a weekend which create memories, which we evoke during all year long... That is why one return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with so much pleasure.
It is also a sport, individual and collective challenge. By ending the event, one shared a beautiful adventure with friends. It is very strong, emotionally speaking.

Has the financial crisis an impact on the organization?

Yes, naturally because the budgets brought by sponsoring are the first ones to be suppressed; besides, those of a minor sport as roller-skating.
We are a stable structure: the office consists in volunteers having all important responsibilities in their daily life (engineers, physiotherapists, consultants, professors). We are level-headed and manage the budget with seriousness and accuracy.
The 2009 edition will doubtless be a success.

Do you want add something to conclude this interview?

Roller-skating is an exceptional leisure sport, with values of conviviality and sharing. It is clean practice, a non-polluting sport, close to Nature.
The roller-skating events are going to have the hard life this year, but the 24 hours of Le Mans are still there, ready for June 27th and 28th.
You have 5 month to build a team, train and come to participate to this 10th anniversary!
Thanks to all those who rely on us, to the 9000 persons who take part in the ride rollers, to the 6000 participants who dash the challenge to end the 24 Hours rollers and who raise proudly their "FINISHER" T-shirt.

Rendez-vous on the circuit of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
See you soon
Tony MOGIS

Liens utiles

www.24rollers.comTexte : Alfathor
Photos : droits réservés
Mise en ligne  on 02 February 2009 - Read 6561 times


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