The starting point: Côtes d’Armor-Niger exchanges
The first exchanges took place ten to fifteen years ago. A decentralized cooperation and close relationships between the Cotes d’Armor department and Niger led to the organization of a Nigerien cultural week at the trade fair of St Brieuc. Naturally the wrestlers were part of the delegation but the exchange was not pursued at that time.
Francophonie Games in Niger in 2005
Exchanges were reactivated in 2005 when a traditional wrestling festival was included in the games. The French federation entrusted the Bretons wrestlers with representing France at these games. A preliminary trip in September and the participation of five Breton wrestlers and two bagpipers at the games in December made the exchanges a reality. Several exhibitions, contests and technical exchanges created a strong relationship between the two groups of traditional wrestlers. The recognition of the sportsmanship and the human values of Nigerien wrestling by the French wrestlers and the organizers of the Francophonie contributed to generate a national pride in Niger.
A picture book
shows the highlights of these exchanges.
The Bretons were enthusiastic and eager to invite the Nigerien wrestlers, so the Gouren Federation
arranged the participation of a delegation of Nigerien wrestlers to an international training course of traditional wrestling in February 2007 in Carhaix and to an international contest ( with seven nations) of Back-hold wrestling, the traditional Scottish wrestling.