Nicole Chane-Foc : Canne de combat is my passion
How did you start in canne?
I started canne a very long time ago when I was at university in the Reunion Island. To start with, I practised savate but I very quickly turned to canne de combat as I found it to be more playful and less violent than savate. In fact, I could not get used to direct contact, i.e. use my fist to strike my opponent. As this aspect of savate did not suit me, I was not making any progress.
But the main reason why I stuck to practising canne de combat was that I am married to Alain Descorsier; his life is dedicated to canne so it was hard for me to escape from it.
Is canne a job or a passion for you?
As everyone knows, canne is not a professional sport; canne is therefore a passion for me. Alain is the one I caught the bug from. Now, it is now up to me to pass on my knowledge - I started my own club at the start of 2011!
What is your relationship with canne?
My relationship with canne changed when I stopped being active on the national and international scene. Indeed, when I was a competitor, I would only think about competing, physical conditioning, and so on. Now, I that I have my “Brevet d'Etat” (National Instructor’s diploma) things have changed - I am more involved on the process of developing the sport by teaching in several clubs and by taking part in multi-sport days organised by various towns on the Island.
What do you think of International Competitions?
I find that the various international competitions are too infrequent. I feel that the fact that the World and European Championships each happen only every four years does not seem appropriate - this is too long a time frame for foreigners to progress. The direct consequences of the last minute planning assures the French’s supremacy in this sport. That leaves little suspense over the outcome...
What are your future prospects?
As canne teacher, the future for me has only just begun. My club is brand new but I already have a fair number of members. I add a little personal touch to the way I train my athletes. It is also thrilling to see your members succeed in competition - it is a joy and an honour to see that your teaching is bearing fruit.
As a competitor, the future is looking darker day after day as I am getting older. Though being 44 is no big deal in itself, it is hard for me to imagine returning to the top level of the sport.
Have you got anything to add?
To the officials, who work hard to develop for this sport, I would like to see them remember that the sport of canne de combat must fuel their work and be their passion. It is crucial that the development of canne involves its members, its athletes and is done for them. For a while now I have had the feeling that those at the helm of this sport are not so much motivated by a desire to develop the sport itself, but rather see it as a means to climb the social ladder or establish a reputation. One must bear in mind that canne de combat is a small sport; before it allows anyone any kind of social ascension, the sport itself must have a presence and therefore grow its membership. This must be the mantra all of us must repeat. To sum things up in one word, I would say that TOGETHER we can grow our sport, and only TOGETHER.
Just one last thought for my mentor: Thank you Alain, for everything.