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Paris, June 13, 2008

Swimming gets a boost at Lagardère Paris Racing

Frédéric Vergnoux joins Lagardère Paris Racing to become the club’s head coach for its elite swimmers. He will also direct the swimming technical department at the club. Among other duties, Vergnoux will be responsible for identifying, training and coaching the club’s best swimmers. He will be assisted by Guillaume Benoist.

Frédéric Vergnoux will work in close collaboration with TeamLagardère staff, who will monitor the swimmers’ fitness training via physical evaluations and medical checkups and tests.

In this way, the Lagardère group’s two sports entities will gradually develop the optimal configuration to prepare swimmers for the next two Olympiads. The objective is to offer elite swimmers the best possible professional environment to help them achieve excellence on the international scene.

The organization of the EDF Swimming Open at the Lagardère Paris Racing club (the last major meet for French swimmers before Beijing), demonstrates the Lagardère group’s determination over the last two years to support and promote French swimming. The selection of several Lagardère Paris Racing swimmers as members of the French swimming team for the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games (Alena Popchanka, Pierre Roger and Sébastien Bodet) also reflects a committed and sustained athletic policy in support of French swimming.

Vergnoux has been based in Edinburgh since 2004, and is one of the rare French coaches to have worked abroad for a substantial period of time. After being voted Coach of the Year in Great Britain for the second consecutive year, he has decided to return to France to work with the Lagardère Paris Racing club. He previously served as a reference coach for the Great Britain National Swim Team which he will accompany to Beijing.

Frédéric Vergnoux stated: “I feel extremely fortunate to have this opportunity to work with such a prestigious club. French swimming will face many challenges in the years to come, which I intend to meet with verve and determination. Lagardère Paris Racing is the leading symbol of high-level sports in Paris. Its facilities – including its 50m and 25m pools – will enable me to work under excellent conditions. I am very pleased to have this opportunity to help give this long-established club a new impetus as it prepares for the 2012 Olympic Games.”

Arnaud Lagardère commented: “Frédéric Vergnoux is known and recognized as an extremely competent professional in the UK. By joining Lagardère Paris Racing, he has chosen to support the initiatives undertaken by our group on behalf of French sport. I am delighted that he has decided to join us. It is a very great honour to have him on our team. He will unquestionably create an environment conducive to achieving peak performance.”

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