Sport is at the heart of Lille Metropole’s action, but it is not only about major events it is also a key factor for social integration and the territory’s vitality.
With a dedicated budget of more than 3.5 million euros per year, Lille Metropole can promote its territory by supporting around a hundred events per year, such as the famous Paris-Roubaix cycling race, the Brader'Y races (half marathon, 10km and children race occurring every September when Lille host its annual Braderie, with more than a 1,000,000 visitors) or the Route du Louvre, which takes place every year on its territory. Lille Metropole also organizes its own events such as "Swimming Pools’ nights" or "MEL Sports".
When hosting major international events in its territory, MEL also develops dedicated social support programs for the youth. These allow young people to experience strong and unique emotions but also offer them the opportunity to be first-rate supporters and to experience exceptional sporting events as close as possible. In 2018, about 40,000 young people attended MEL’s sporting programs.
By providing support, both financial and structural, to 20 high-level sports clubs, Lille Metropole (MEL) has decided to be an involved and strong supporter of sports with the goal to bring closer people and clubs together.
"MEL Sports" is a program which aim to enable all citizens to attend high-level sports shows. This way, it reinforces local support to the clubs and sportsmen while promoting accessibility for all. Each year, more than 10,000 places are offered and often allow to discover or rediscover a discipline in a warm and friendly club atmosphere.
Lille Metropole has also organized, in partnership with about 20 swimming pools in the region, for the past 10 years, the "Swimming Pools’ night". It is a festive, friendly and free evening where citizens can learn about diving, aqua bike or get advice on the importance of sport-health and nutrition. Since its first edition, the formula has been a success, more than 8,000 metropolitan residents attended in 2019!
Lille Metropole also supports 30 young athletes those prepare for Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics games. Acting as local ambassadors, they are strong links between citizens and clubs, sharing their passion for sport and their ambitions as athletes, while strengthening local support.
By providing this local sport program and access to the clubs and events supported, Lille Metropole aims to engage people through sport, promote healthy habits and enable all citizens to have access to sport, even deprived ones. Fostering social link, the program also aims to develop women’s sport and change mentalities regarding disability.