Jean-Marc Lhermet (54) did not completely draw a line on the oval ball. He remains an elected member of the steering committee of the FFR. But for now, his hours, his days and perhaps part of his nights will be occupied by a particular mission. And this, until September 2024.
The former player, manager and leader of ASM Clermont is in charge of “creating bridges” between the players in the Olympic movement (athletes, coaches) and the world of professional clubs, all sports combined.
“The idea was to look for something that animates me, that makes me vibrate”
How can you turn your back on a sport (rugby) that has been part of your life for so long?
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“In my head, I shifted a bit when I realized it was going to end with ASM at the start of the year. The idea then was to look for something that animates me, that makes me vibrate. I could have come back to business, consulting or another sport. The only limit I had set for myself was not to have a position in another rugby club. “
Why ASM Clermont is looking to recruit a sports director
For what reasons ?
“Already because I think I have been around the rugby world; director of the training center, external relations, sports director, development manager… I could not see myself coming back to this environment other than the ASM. And then, I am very colorful “yellow and blue”, I am very sentimentally linked to this club. Knowing in addition the maximum commitment it takes to hold these positions, it seemed complicated to me to go to another club. “
“The current has gone well with Claude Onesta”
How did you find this new job at the National Sports Agency?
“For my part, at the end of the spring, I already activated several networks in different fields and I was always in contact with the center for sports law and economics in Limoges. There, I was put in touch with Claude Onesta, the general manager of high performance at the ANS. We talked a lot, the flow went well then this summer he asked me and I received a proposal. “
Jean-Marc Lhermet (ex-ASM) joins the high performance unit of the National Sports Agency
What motivated your involvement in this new structure?
“The deadline for the 2024 Olympics is a motivation in itself. The stake goes far beyond the framework of sport, it is almost a national cause. The objective is to put the athletes and their coaches in the best possible conditions for Paris 2024. ”
What is your mission?
“The initial idea was to say that there is expertise in professional clubs but, to date, there is no link between this universe and Olympic preparation. My mission is how to create bridges, an ecosystem to set up the finest possible mesh. And all this, in addition to the structures that exist in Olympic preparation. It’s adding the skill that pro clubs can bring. There’s a whole bunch of gateways to create, without edging anyone. “
Since the end of the Tokyo Olympics this summer, we feel a great demand for results for Paris 2024. Even at the highest level of the State, there is this pressure. We must succeed in Paris 2024 and do better than in Tokyo.
What sports does it concern?
“I am going to consult the world of professional clubs in major collective sports: football, rugby, basketball, handball, volleyball… I will measure everyone’s interests, define what each can bring to others. Identify the possible links to put in place. ”
Isn’t the timing a little tight at 3 years from Paris 2024?
“In the development of high performance, 3 years is not much. Activated in 2019, the ANS is a unique structure that brings together and defines the high performance strategy of French sport. It is a determining element of success, under the leadership of Claude Onesta. But it will be necessary to go quickly indeed. “
Jean-Marc Lhermet: “I’m not leaving without regrets”
Is the pressure important in terms of results?
“Since the end of the Tokyo Olympics this summer, we feel a great demand for results for Paris 2024. Even at the highest level of the State, there is this pressure. We must succeed in Paris 2024 and do better than in Tokyo. I would even say that it is out of the question to do less well than what has been achieved so far. But it is too early to talk about a target in terms of the number of medals. ”
Where are you in this high performance cell?
“There is already a lot of expertise with slightly different missions, especially with federations. My mission is more focused on professional clubs and my thoughts will be addressed to all athletes. In fact, the goal is to work in synergy and that the professional clubs come to support the movement. “