Journée de la Francophonie


Journée de la Francophonie

Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games

It was with great joy and pride that our school celebrated the Journée de la Francophonie yesterday in the presence of the French Ambassador to Luxembourg, Claire Lignières-Counathe, Frédéric Biava, advisor and member of the Belgian Embassy, Maxime Dafri, Director of the Institut français and his team, and Mr Robert Hendel, representative of the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth and responsible for international and European offers, the opening of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as part of the official day “Journée de la Francophonie”.

“La Francophonie” is much more than just a linguistic community; it is a genuine bond that unites millions of people around the world. It embodies diversity, solidarity and sharing, principles that are at the very heart of the Olympic spirit. Indeed, the Olympic and Paralympic Games are a celebration of unity in diversity, where athletes from all walks of life come together in a spirit of fair play and fraternity to compete in a variety of disciplines. In the same way, “La Francophonie” reminds us that despite our cultural differences, we share a common language and ideals that unite us and enrich us mutually.

By hosting these Olympic Games under the banner of “La Francophonie”, we have honoured the cultural and linguistic heritage that binds us together. We celebrated the diversity of our languages, traditions and customs, while affirming our desire to promote peace, mutual understanding and respect through sport.

After the opening ceremony, 75 students from EIDE, the international high school in Differdange, and from our high school took part in three "Olympic" workshops. The “Institut français” offered them a slam workshop, a hybrid discipline: Slam boxing with former French English boxing champion Sabrina De Sousa and slammer Hugo Ayala. With the Paris Olympics just around the corner, the ten words used in the workshops reflected the sporting theme: “adrénaline, aller aux oranges, champion, collectif, échappée, faux départ, hors-jeu, prouesse, mental, s’encorder”.

Short texts were then sung by the students in a succession of rounds at the end of the session.

The second workshop was led by a break-dance specialist, Mr Sadat Sekkoum and his son. An impressive and energetic urban dance that combines acrobatic movements, hard-hitting rhythms and individual expression, break-dance also marks Paris 2024's new Olympic discipline. It's an art form in its own right that encourages creativity, self-confidence and discipline. Our students were able to develop their agility, coordination and physical strength, and unleash their creativity through unique movements and original choreography.

The third workshop enabled the pupils to meet a top-level athlete, Jean-Louis Harel, the Barcelona 1992 Olympic medallist cyclist. He won the bronze medal in the team time trial, a highly demanding event that showcases not only the riders' power and endurance, but also their ability to maintain an efficient aerodynamic position to maximise their speed. This discipline is often used in stage races such as the Tour de France, where riders are individually timed to determine their finishing times.

After a shared lunch, our school invited an exceptional guest speaker on the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Éric Dargent, an extraordinary athlete and a true inspiration. Dargent is a champion of parasurfing, a form of surfing adapted for people with disabilities.

Éric Dargent shared his unique experience, his thoughts on the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and how parasurfing has influenced his life and sporting career. The conference also included a screening of the documentary film "Ora", which has been shown at a number of festivals, as well as a series of awareness-raising events on the subjects of sport and disability, taking a broader look at difference and living together.

We would like to extend our warmest thanks to everyone who helped organise this event, from the pupils, teachers and technical staff to our valued partners such as the Institut français du Luxembourg. Their dedication and hard work made this celebration allowed us to celebrate the “Journée de la Francophonie” while honoring of the 2024 Olympic games.