How to do sports in France?

Take advantage of your studies in France to work your mind and your legs. Numerous accessible and economical solutions allow students to do sports in their host school or outside of it.

The importance of sports in France

France hosts the best sporting competitions in the world: the Tour de France, the Roland-Garros tournament, the Vendée Globe, the 1998 soccer World Cup and, very soon, the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The French are not content to be spectators, they love to play sports.

One French person in two practices a physical activity on a regular basis. The quality of the infrastructures and the French geography make it possible to practice numerous disciplines, both in summer and winter.

Playing sports at university

At universities, the Service universitaire des activités physiques et sportives (SUAPS – University Service for Physical and Sports Activities) allows students to play sports for a modest annual fee. Numerous disciplines are offered and their practice is available to all, regardless of their level.

For the more athletic, the Fédération française du sport universitaire (French Federation of University Sports) organizes sports competitions between teams of students from all higher education institutions.
Sports associations and clubs

France has a large number of sports societies. Clubs allow you to train with a qualified professional and to have regular access to specific equipment.

For some disciplines, such as fitness or yoga, there are numerous sports clubs and private centers. Discounts may be available for students or for those under 26 years of age. Do not hesitate to inquire and compare their rates.
Students’ tips for doing sports

If you don’t have the means or don’t feel like joining an association or a sports club, you can do sports on your own.

There is no point in joining a swimming club, for example. The municipal swimming pools are numerous and available to everyone. In them, students often enjoy reduced rates.

Obviously, running is the most economical way to do sport. If you don’t like to run alone, join one of the running groups that are organized through social networks to run in a group. In them, you can meet interesting people, practice your French and discover the city from a different perspective.

In big cities, some sports associations offer free bike or rollerblade rides. They usually take place in the evening and on weekends. The best known is the Pari Roller ride. Every Friday evening, several thousand participants gather for a three-hour ride through the streets of the capital.

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