Princess Charlene’s water mission is taken to northern France

The Princess Charlene Foundation’s mission continues in the north of France, where teams are helping to teach beach-loving tourists the skills that could one day save their lives.

As the masses head to the coast to escape the heatwave and enjoy a vacation during what is the busiest month of the year, the risk of drowning increases exponentially.

Every three years, Santé Publique France conducts a survey to analyse drownings that have occurred on French territory. The 2018 survey revealed a marked increase in figures compared to the previous survey.

In 2021, the figures confirmed that the most vulnerable groups are children under the age of six, accounting for 26% of drownings, many of which occur in private family swimming pools. People aged over 65 account for 20 % of drownings.

While the causes of these accidents are varied, not knowing how to swim is one of the most important factors of drowning. It is for this reason that the French government has adopted ‘Knowing how to swim’, a policy that is at the origin of The Beach Tour in Loire-Atlantique.

And this year, The Beach Tour has attracted the support of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation.

Photo source: L’Etat et le sport en Loire-Atlantique – SD JES 44

The programme takes the form of an awareness-raising village on the beaches of Loire-Atlantique for summer visitors. The target audience is wide: young children, teenagers, young adults, parents, grandparents… because no one is immune from the risks of drowning.

But an emphasis is placed on teaching young kids how to swim, and teaching everybody vital life-saving skills and safe behaviours.

The project travels to beaches throughout the region and can involve up to 200 people per day.

This week, The Beach Tour welcomed Ukranian refugees, providing some potentially life-saving skills to the region’s new residents.



Top photo source/credit: L’Etat et le sport en Loire-Atlantique – SD JES 44 Facebook page




Prince praises Monaco Rugby as club prepares for life in Fédérale 2

It has been a busy off-season for AS Monaco Rugby who, having earned promotion to the Fédérale 2, are preparing for the upcoming campaign with the backing of Prince Albert.

Last season’s historic campaign saw the team earn an impressive promotion to the Fédérale 2, and whilst preparations for their new challenge are well underway, with pre-season starting less than two weeks ago, it has also been a busy time for AS Monaco Rugby off the pitch.

Before looking to the future, the club were first recognised for their past exploits. In late July, the club was welcomed at the Residence of the Interior Minister in order to celebrate the club’s promotion. In attendance was Prince Albert II, who congratulated the squad on their promotion.

Feeding off last season’s success, the club has also sought to raise its profile, giving the club and the sport a more prominent place in the Principality’s congested sporting scene. It is this goal that has given rise to the unification of the club with the Monaco Rugby Sevens: a partnership that is “essential for Monaco and complementary to both entities”, according to a press release from the club.

The presence of South African World Cup winner Tendai Mtawarira, aka “The Beast”, also formed part of those efforts. During a charitable evening, attended by Monaco Life, money was raised for ‘The Best Foundation’, whilst the mere presence of such a household name within the world of rugby will, in the medium and long-term, likely work wonders for the profile of the sport within the Principality.

Whilst there has certainly been a focus on bringing the image of the club to the fore, the club have all the while been preparing behind the scenes for the huge season which lies in wait. As they prepare to play the highest level of amateur rugby, an internal restructuring has also been taking place.

Walter Argoud has arrived at the club from Provence Rugby in a new role as sporting director, in a structure that more closely resembles that of a professional side.

The ambitions for the upcoming 2022/23 season are clear and unequivocal: do better, demand more, be more efficient on the pitch and also behind-the-scenes in order to continue to structure, and consolidate the foundations of the entire association.

Monaco begin their season on 11th September with a match away, before welcoming Sporting Club Royannais to the Stade Prince Héréditaire Jacques on 17th September.




France introduces strict wine labelling rules at bars, restaurants

Bars and restaurants in France must now indicate the origin of the wines they offer to consumers, whether by the glass, pichet or bottle. Failure to do so will attract a hefty fine.

The era of the “House wine”, or “cuvée du patron” is officially over.

The French government published a decree on 24th July stating that bars, restaurants, and any establishment holding a license to sell alcohol on site or to take away must indicate the source, or depending on the quality, the designation of protected origin (PDO) or protected geographical indication (PGI) of the wines they offer to their consumers.

The absence of this origin on menus, wine lists or other communication will in a “fifth class” fine of €1,500.

While this information is already given for bottled wine, it is not always the case for wine served by the glass or in a pitcher (pichet).

The aim, says the French government, is to “protect farmers’ earnings”.

The law relating to the transparency of information on agricultural and food products was actually scheduled for 1st June 2020 but was delayed due to the Covid crisis. It was also not-applicable with European regulations.

But it was reintroduced into the Consumer Code by an amendment to the proposed law aimed at protecting the remuneration of farmers, which notably requires better information for consumers on the origin of the products offered to them. The law also applies to the correct labelling on the origin of honey, compulsory since 1st July, and even products made from cocoa and chocolate.




Photo by Monaco Life





Westermann departs as Roca Team welcomes more arrivals

AS Monaco Basketball captain Léo Westermann has left after just a year at the club, as the Principality continue to mould their side ahead of the season. Elie Okobo, Jordan Loyd and John Brown III have already joined, and their roster has been further bolstered in the past days.

The Roca Team return to the court on 24th September with a trip to Nanterre. When they do so, the side will be scarcely recognisable to last season’s Betclic Elite runners up.


Léo Westermann – Monaco’s captain has left the club to join Spanish side Obradoiro on a one-year deal. The French international returns to Spain after just one-year with the Principality club. Despite captaining the side, Westermann found his game time limited, especially towards the end of the season, as he competed with Mike James and Paris Lee for a place in the side. Obradoiro finished 15th in their domestic division last season.

Ibrahima Fall Faye – Senegalese player Fall Faye has also left the club. He has joined Betclic Elite rival Boulogne-Levallois on a one-year deal. The player played one-and-a-half seasons at the Salle Gaston Médecin, having arrived in February 2021.


Yoan Makoundou – The promising 21-year-old Frenchman has signed for Les Monégasques on a four-year deal from Betclic Elite rivals Cholet. In a press release, Makoundou said, “I think that it was a big step for me to take in order to show that I was ready to perform well in this kind of team with very high expectations. It’s a good way to progress for me.”

He also opened up on his disappointment on not being picked in the NBA draft in June. “I was a bit disappointed,” he began. “But I haven’t had the time to mope around, because straight after that there was the call-up to the French national team. Everything has moved very quickly and I know I’m still young.”

Milenko Bogicevic – The club has also welcomed Sasa Obradovic’s right-hand man Bogicevic back to the club. The assistant coach has joined for the upcoming season. Obradovic and Bogicevic have been almost inseparable over the course of the last 12 years. The two began their adventure together at Donetsk in 2010, where they won the title. Like Obradoivc, Bogicevic was also at the club during the 2019/20 campaign during which Monaco agonisingly narrowly missed out on the French title.

Speaking in a press release, Bogicevic said, “For me there was no doubt over rejoining Monaco, because from the first moments, I felt like it was really a family. When I found out that there was the option of joining, I was very happy and excited. These last two years, I have remained in contact with the management. This proposition was like a present falling from the sky for me.”

He continued, “Sasa is more than a coach with his assistant. He will always do everything to succeed and I will give my all to follow his ambition. I think everything will go well in guiding the club towards its high objectives.” In order to chase those objectives, Monaco have assembled a new-look side, which now looks close to completion, just in time for the new season, which begins next month.



Photo source: AS Monaco Basketball