Les Associations – join the club!

Recyclerie du Vallespir

The beginning of autumn (September) brings out the Forums des Associations in every town and village throughout the region.

Often running alongside an autumn fair, a local produce market or a good old apéro,  this gives local clubs and community groups a chance to strut their stuff.

It also gives us a chance to sample and enrol in the many activities, sports clubs, community and social organisations available in the area throughout the year.

2021 has been another difficult year, but then isn’t that all the more reason to be solidaire and neighbourly? Take your mask/gel and keep your distance but get involved!

La vie associative’ is an important part of French community life, with over a million associations offering all manner of educational and leisure pursuits.

Originally, most groups were run either by the Catholic Church or a political party. However, following the laïcité (secular) laws introduced in 1905, a new government made up of anti-clerical atheists decided to separate state and church and reduce the power of the clergy. 

The aim of the asso is to provide groups of two or more people with shared interests the chance to establish not-for-profit organisations, to meet and to raise funds legally.

All associations must have a ‘Bureau’ consisting of president, treasurer and secretary. These positions are voluntary and unpaid. Salaried staff cannot be part of this management structure, so a person setting up an association will often ask family and friends to form the ‘bureau,’ in order that he or she might receive a salary for the activity.

Associations may organise 2 ‘rifles’ (bingo) per year to raise funds for their activities, so when you see the RIFLE posters going up around the region in late autumn, your support will be much appreciated – and who doesn’t enjoy a game of bingo really?

Don’t let shaky French put you off. They usually appreciate new members and are happy to make an effort to speak slowly or do whatever it takes to help you to fit it.

Why not pop along to the Forum des Associations in your town or village? You might well be surprised at the activities on offer.


Banyuls sur Mer

Le Barcarès


Montesquieu des Albères


Saint André

Saint Paul de Fenouillet

And now, the good news, there’s LOADS of forums going ahead 🙂

Saturday 4th September

Canet en Roussillon, 10am – 7pm, Ramblas Avenue de la Méditerranée

Céret, 8am – 12.30pm, Stade Fondecave

Font Romeu, 1.30pm – 6pm, Alti-fit Espace Sportif

Pollestres, 1pm – 6pm, Espace Arthur Conte

Saint Génis des Fontaines, 10am – 4pm, Salle polyvalent

Saint Marie la Mer, 10am – 1pm, Salle Omega

Thuir, 10am – 5pm, Salle des Aspres

Sunday 5th September

Saint Cyprien, 10am – 7pm, Grand Stade les Capellans

Saturday 11th September

Amélie les Bains, 2pm – 6pm, centre-ville

Argelès sur Mer, 10am – 7pm, Parking des Pins

Le Boulou, from 3pm, Complexe des Echards

Collioure, 8am – 1pm, Place du Maréchal Leclerc

Maureillas las Illas, 9am – 12.30pm, Place de la République

Port Vendres, 9am – 1pm, Place de l’Obélisque

St Jean Pla de Corts, 9am – 12pm, Square Guy Malé

Sorède, 9am – 1pm, Complexe sportif

Trouillas, TBC, Boulodrome

Sunday 12th September

Ille sur Tet, time TBC, Espace la Catalane

Saturday 25th September

Laroque des Albères, time & lplace TBC