OneTech gets together in the Béarn region to share the values of rugby
To bring off the dual challenge of fighting global warming, and tackling the increasing energy demand of the world population, TotalEnergies is in the throes of its transformation into a multi-energy company. Following in its wake, OneTech was created two years ago. This brand-new branch within a Company that will celebrate its 100th year of existence next year, banked on the values of rugby to create cohesion in its teams located in 9 different sites in Europe.
On the weekend of October 13-15, 2023, employees from different sectors met each other on the rugby ground in Pau. They were welcomed at TotalEnergies Pau CSE (Corporate Works Council) facilities, on the rugby pitch at the Macron Training center in Pau, dedicated to training U21 players at the Section, and at the Hameau Stadium.
TotalEnergies and rugby: values we share
On the strength of a long-standing, significant local presence, the Company is particularly involved in the Béarn region as Major partner of the Section Paloise Béarn Pyrénées rugby club. In addition to its unwaveringan official to the Top 14 league rugby club for over 30 years now, this year TotalEnergies is proud to be official sponsor of the Rugby World Cup. A global event played out across mainland France, and an exciting time for the employees mobilized for different inhouse events.
"Organizing touch rugby tournaments is a tradition in the Company," explains Tom Schockaert, Vice President, Operations at OneTech Belgium and inhouse sponsor of the first OneTech touch rugby tournament. What better entertaining and informal way to enable employees from different sites to meet one another? "In the Company, we are set on sharing the values of fair play, commitment, mutual support and respect that prevail in rugby. Since everyone has their rightful place in the teams that we have made particularly inclusive, mutual support and a desire to share are values that soon come to the fore! The result is of little importance, it’s sharing that time together that counts." he enthuses.
The special feature of this tournament is that players are not signed up as teams, but individually, and therefore find themselves playing alongside colleagues that, nine times out of ten, they have never met before. It was one of the ideas behind the event, i.e. to create team spirit. Whether during the Olympiads (climbing, quad rugby, basketball, etc.) organized upstream, during the actual tournament, or at one of the evening parties, the try has definitely been converted for the players of the 12 mixed teams sporting the colors that represent the Company’s different energies (gas, oil, solar, wind, hydrogen, etc.).
Refereed by the women’s Section
In addition to local facilities, the organizers also called on players from the Lons-Section Paloise women’s rugby club. A dozen of them volunteered to take part in the event to referee the matches. Touch rugby is all about avoiding your opponents, with no tackles, scrums or rucks, and kicking the ball is not allowed. It’s also one of the only mixed team sports that everyone can play. "We went through an information session on the rules and practice of this version of rugby, to train us how to referee the matches in the OneTech tournament." explains Julia Grosz, a rugby player in the Elite 1 league. "It’s not easy to be in the referee’s shoes, but it’s a really fantastic experience. We’re happy that the players who were available, accepted to take part in the event." She also mentions the advantage of going to meet the teams from TotalEnergies: "It’s good to be seen, so that people to get to know us, and to encourage them to come and support us on match days. We’re professional players, and yet we have to manage our unpaid sports activity alongside our studies or jobs. Knowing that we have supporters on our side to encourage us in our passion is always a major plus point." she concludes.
For the teams at OneTech, the kingpin of TotalEnergies’ transformation, the first edition of the three-day tournament, underpinned by the values of rugby, was a great success. Plus, two associations working for the education and social and professional integration of young people through rugby: Rebonds! and Drop de béton were also present to explain their missions and solidarity issues. As the enthusiastic participants in this first edition 2023 have doubtless spread the word, it looks like a new season is on the cards!