New Caledonia UNSS
UNSS stands for: the French National School Sports Union (Union Nationale du Sport Scolaire).
The UNSS was founded 120 years ago, in 1890, in France, and is composed of regional UNSS districts that regroup the pupils who practice sports in the various secondary schools of its district. Each UNSS district coordinates School Sports in its area by way of the regional school sports coordinators, and organizes tournaments in a variety of sports, for youths aged 11 to 18 years-old.
In New Caledonia, a small French overseas territory 2 hours from Brisbane by plane, the UNSS supervises almost 7 000 young athletes – of which 45% are female - belonging to 80 local school sports associations around the country. This represents one quarter of the total secondary school student population of New Caledonia, under the guidance of 250 sports teachers and trainers.
We believe that promoting sports at school has a strong impact on our young population, by emphasizing an equal access for all to all sports, and the learning of sportsmanship, responsibility, commitment and a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.
We value mobility, being convinced that this is the best way for our students to get to know and value those who are their opponents on the field (but not off it!). To this end, we organize very regular competitive meetings throughout the territory of New Caledonia; but we also strive to participate as much as we can in major international competitions, trusting that we are thus helping our young islanders discover the world at large, its many cultures and landscapes, while gaining a better idea of how hard the competition is.
One example of our commitment to excel internationally is illustrated by the Jules Garnier high school, which in Track and Field is the best school in the whole of France with regards to its sports results, winning places in the top three French schools since 1985. Its team came second in the 2007 International School Sports Federation (ISF) World School Championships in Bordeaux and 6th in Tallin (Estonia) in 2009. Since 2000, its team has taken part in the Pacific School Games, in Sydney (2000), Melbourne (2005), and Canberra (2008).
Our plans for the future are a participation in the Brisbane 2013 Southern Skies Tournament in rugby 7s and in soccer, as well as sending teams to the Pacific School Games in 2014, while continuing to vigorously encourage our secondary school pupils to take part in, and enjoy, all the school sports on offer locally.