The Béarn is known for its involvement in many sporting disciplines, it has known over time to equip itself with numerous infrastructures and several high-level sports clubs, but also of companies of innovations and specialized industries. The sporting tradition has developed in the region since the 19th century. Today, this commitment has been rewarded in 2018 by the label “European City of Sport”.
Pau Béarn Pyrénées, a sporty land
The Paloise agglomeration allocates more than 9 of its budget to sports policy. The Canoe-Kayak base, the racing circuit, the golf course but also the training centres for Rugby and horseback riding, the Sports Palace for basketball and the Hippodrome are part of the many sporting facilities that make Pau a flagship unique in Aquitaine.
Pau Béarn Pyrénées, European City of Sport in 2018.
Land of sport and cradle of many international sportsmen, the Béarn is a nursery without any other similar. These exceptional Ambassadors continue to value the richness of our territory.
Sports et innovation
While sports in Béarn benefit from facilities that meet their ambitions, their history and their attractiveness, the region has also been able to develop innovative companies in sport, promoting, developing and supporting startups like Kiwami, Sportech 37 and companies like Flex-on.
Flex-it offers unique ergonomic calipers that have already seduced the greatest riders such as Camille Conde Ferreira, European champion 2015 of obstacle jumping competitions, or Karim Laghouag, Olympic team champion at the games of Rio in 2016. Most of the parts are made in the area and the Assembly is done in Morlaàs. Flex-today there are about ten employees and radiates far beyond the Béarn. Number two worldwide in its field, the small company Béarnaise have about 200 resellers throughout France and its products are exported in 40 different countries.
Sportech 37, a company specializing in sport at the international level, whose implementation was promoted by invest in Pau and ITC, develops video-arbitration sports solutions using Robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) for training and competitions. Sportech 37 aims to dethrone foreign service providers and become the official provider of paloise origin for video-refereeing, starting with the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.
Kiwami, a company based in Montardon that manufactures and exports a wide range of Triathlon and trail running outfits, has been able to stand out against the giants of sportswear by its ability to innovate and renew. In Béarn, they make reference outfits, like “three in one”, water repellent and waterproof for swimming, flexible for cycling, anti-perspirant for racing. They quickly positioned themselves as an innovative leader in the sector.
Many sports clubs and disciplines are present in Pau Béarn Pyrenees.
Pau Béarn Pyrénées main sports and clubs.
The section paloise, Rugby Union Club created in 1902, evolving into top XIV, is the city’s flagship Club. It is considered to be a locomotive for the entire béarnais rugby. If the Green and the white worn by the Paloise section make the city vibrate every weekend, the values conveyed by this game are much more widespread for its inhabitants.
After reigned on French basketball for a decade, the ELAN Béarnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez was rebuilt in Pro B. Back in Pro A among the elite, the Club now intends to stay there and vibrates its supporters at the Palais des sports (mythical room of 7600 places which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016).
Béarn has always been a breeding ground for horses. From the early nineteenth century, Pau was nicknamed “the horse’s capital” and the romance of love lasted. The Haras de Gelos was created by Napoleon in 1808 and the first races took place in 1842. The tradition has been perpetuated and the equine sector is now about a thousand jobs. The so-horses alliances cluster comprises SMEs, training organisations, research laboratories and institutions with the aim of creating synergies and supporting R & D projects. The Hippodrome and its training center of Pau-Sers is a unique pole in France for the dish and the obstacle. It houses about fifteen coaches and nearly 600 horses a year. The equine sector on the Béarn drains nearly a thousand jobs divided between the actors who evolve, near or far, around the horse, all sectors of activity combined.
The equine sector comprises all the economic actors whose activity, near or far, is related to the horse: livestock, tourism, training, culture, health, agriculture, etc. To support the economic development of this sector, the CCI Pau Béarn hosts the regional cluster SO-horse-alliances.
Basque pelota, a sport of rare intensity, requires strength, skill and agility. Its followers benefit from exceptional equipment for its practice. The agglomeration is equipped with a jaï alaï, a unique equipment in the world, it gathers all the playgrounds necessary for the 23 specialties of the ball, 14 of which are recognized at the inter-national level. This ultra-modern complex which has undergone the consecration in 2010, hosting the 26th Basque ball World Championships, today hosts all the Basque ball sports (Cesta Punta, chisterra, ball…).
Pau Golf Club 1856 is the oldest golf course on the European continent. The first indices of the practice of this sport go well beyond the Foundation in 1856 of the PGC. The Heritage Hall still testifies to this rich past which attracts the whole region and many golfers between the Basque coast, the Béarn and the Pyrenees.
The Royal City is a stronghold of fencing in France with the Organization of many French Championships in different categories, but also by the success of these teams. Over the past six seasons, the Palois have accumulated three titles and three silver medals in a sabre team.
« Grand Prix » racing
The Grand Prix de Pau takes its place in the world of motor racing as an appointment not to be missed, to which many champions participate. Pau is the second city after Monaco to have a race circuit in the city centre. For 9 days, car enthusiasts and visitors can enjoy the activities and the event.
International Competition and International Driving Competition
The 4-star Pau, the only 4-star event in France, is part of a world circuit of only 6 stages. The Domaine de Sers, venue of the event, hosts about 40 000 visitors in October for cross-country events and 350 volunteers. Since 2015, the international 4-horse hitch competition has been associated during the same week in the full competition. The global elite of the two disciplines meet in Pau Pyrenees.
The winter meetings held each year in the Béarn between December and February welcome more than 1 000 horses from all over France (PMU, steeple-Chase, Gallop) on 27 days of races. Many animations are offered to discover or rediscover horse racing in flat and in obstacle to the general public.
The tour de France
At the foot of the Pyrenees and its mythical passes, Pau is one of the most favoured cities of the Grande Boucle. The city of Pau has been hosting the tour de France since 1947 and for the first time in its history, an individual timepiece will compete on eight communes of the community of agglomeration Pau Béarn Pyrénées on July 19, 2019 next.
Canoe Kayak Championship
The Aquasports water Park Stadium in Pau, inaugurated in 2009 by a World Cup round, is recognized as one of the most successful. It is unanimous in its natural setting on the edge of the gave de Pau, its aesthetics, the General vision it offers to the public, the technical difficulties it offers. The whitewater Stadium has already organized the Canoe-Kayak slalom World Cup four times : 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2016. From 29 May to 2 June 2019, the European Canoe-Kayak slalom championships take place on this stage of the agglomeration.
Teréga Open Pau Pyrénées Tennis
The Palais des sports de Pau hosts the 1st Edition of the Teromega open Pau Pyrénées de tennis, from 25 February to 3 March 2019. Ideally placed at the heart of the European tour behind the ATP 250 tournaments in Montpellier and Marseille, Pau is part of the calendar as an indispensable event for world tennis.