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.

2020 has been a 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.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way…



Ille sur Tet

Laroque des Albères


Saint André



Montesquieu des Albères

Saint Paul de Fenouillet

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

Saturday 5th September

Argelès sur Mer, 10am – 7pm, Espace Jean Carrère

Banyuls sur Mer, 9am – 1pm, Front de Mer

Canet en Roussillon, 10am – 4pm, Théâtre de la Mer

Céret, 9am – 12pm, Stade Fondecave

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

Le Barcarès, 9am – 6pm, place du Village

Rivesaltes, 10am – 5pm, les Dômes

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

Saint Marie la Mer, 10am – 3pm, Salle Omega

Salses le Château, 10am – 12pm, place de la République

Thuir, 10am – 5pm, Salle des Aspres

Sunday 6th September

Saint Cyprien, 10am – 6pm, Grand Stade les Capellans

Saturday 12th September

Amélie les Bains, 2pm – 6pm, Avenue du Vallespir

Le Boulou, from 3pm, Complexe des Echards

Maureillas las Illas, 9am – 12pm, Place de la République

Port Vendres, 9am – 1pm, Caserne du fer à cheval

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

Sorède, 10am – 5pm, Complexe sportif

Toulouges, 8am – 2pm, Parc de Clairfont

Sunday 13th September

Reynès, 10am – 5pm, Théâtre de Verdure

Saint Estève, 10am – 5pm, Espace Saint Mamet

Saint Laurent de la Salanque, 10am – 6pm, Salle polyvalente