The essentials This Thursday, April 22nd, was the last day of the “Bellefontaine Clean Challenge”. ASTM players spent two afternoons cleaning up the Mirail area.
You are sitting cross-legged on the lawn of the Canto Laouzetto stadium. The twenty players of the Association Sportive Toulouse Mirail (ASTM), aged 10 to 12, wear the club’s tracksuit. This Thursday afternoon is the second and last day of the “Bellefontaine Clean Challenge”. In cooperation with the district authority, the young licensees collect the rubbish.
“This is part of our educational project which includes various components including ecology. Pollution is a big problem and we wanted to tackle it on our own scale. Our players are also aware of this problem, ”explains sports director Abdelaziz Ait Hamd.
Once the directions have been given, the players put on a yellow chasuble, pair of gloves, grab a pair of tongs and garbage bags, and form three groups before smiling towards the Albert Camus passage.
For Jérôme, the local authority agent who oversees operations, “this is an opportunity to remind you of a simple civil gesture.” “We filled three garbage bags yesterday. We have to make it clear to people early on that we mustn’t pollute, ”he continues.
Six full garbage bags
When they arrive at Bellefontaine Park, the young people go hunting for rubbish and turn the activity into a competition. “I’m happy. It’s a fun activity. Then it’s an act that makes it possible to save the planet,” smiles 12-year-old Ilyes shyly.
A resident of the neighborhood is pleasantly surprised to take part in this spectacle: “It feels good. These young people clean their neighborhoods. “The operation is over a little less than an hour later. Three new garbage bags were filled: “It was important to tidy up the neighborhood a little. This type of event improves the image of our club. It is important that it is positive. We are working a lot on it. Especially with initiatives like this, ”says Abdelaziz Ait Hamd.
The players go to the stadium and exchange their shoes for crampons. The training begins. The challenge could have its second edition next year.