In October 2009, the A. Scott Foundation began l'Hockey Folie in the Mirail district of Toulouse, France. The Mirail is home to Toulouse's largest cités, or public housing complexes, where poverty and unemployment are rampant. It was also in and around the Mirail that disaffected young people rioted in 2005 and 2007, destroying property and consequently bringing international attention to the cultural and economic isolation felt by many throughout France's segregated suburbs.
L'Hockey Folie connects disadvantaged children aged 6-10 from the Mirail with the game of hockey--a connection that would otherwise be very unlikely. In France, hockey is still a niche sport and few have exposure to the game. Moreover, as organized sports in France are expensive, the opportunities to participate in a sports club are predominantly a privilege of select classes. By offering participants the opportunity to both discover a new sport and also enter into an established inline hockey club, Hocklines Toulouse, l'Hockey Folie strives to enrich lives, create connections, expand opportunities and foster positive citizenship.
A further element of l'Hockey Folie involves drawing constructive connections between the state of Michigan and France. L'Hockey Folie is coordinated and implemented by students and alumni from the University of Michigan and these commited individuals are excited to share hockey, a distinct piece of Michigan's culture, with others on an international scale.
See our L 'Hockey Folie kids in action! The following video shows a practice session held by Jean-Luc Deschaine and the L 'Hockey Folie participants in 2010.
To view a promotional brochure for this project click: HERE