On the eve of the start of the international competition season, our friendly correspondent Sylvie Demilly, met Philippe Odent, President of the CIF.
Philippe Odent has been president of the Club des Internationaux Français (CIF) for four years. He is a committed president who advocates a collective spirit far from any excessive competition.
Before being president of the CIF and the Calaisis province, and secretary of his society, Philippe Odent is a great pigeon fancier. He caught the virus from his father with whom he started to play at the age of 12/13 years. First licence at 23 years old in Nielles les Calais.
“My favourite competition is Pau. My season is based on Pau. In 2013, I first price and I was CIF champion in 2014” explains Philippe Odent. At the head of a colony of 140 pigeons in summer, Philippe Odent favours long-distance competitions. “I changed my method of play three years ago and I play the nest, to play the females and the males. This allows me to have fewer pigeons and it works”, explains the pigeon fancier.
Philippe Odent says that he will be able to concentrate more on his pigeons. In January he will leave the presidency of the CIF, which he has held for four years now. “The CIF is a coordinating body for international competitions that have always been organised with the Belgians, Dutch, Germans and English. The first competition is the one in Pau where we bind on Monday and release on Friday. Then there is one competition per week for seven weeks,” explains Philippe Odent.
For these competitions, there is a French classification and an international one. “This year, the downside will be the non-participation of the English in the competitions because of the sanitary restrictions linked to the Brexit. The English contingent has been growing for several years,” he adds.
When asked about the incident of the Barcelona race last season, Philippe Odent replied, “There were pigeons lost through unfortunate poisoning and this must not happen again. We are not organisers but coordinators. “To conclude on this regrettable accident, it is desirable to bring back to the forefront this motto: “it is only the one who does nothing, who can’t make mistakes! ”
The increase in the number of clubs centres has made the organisation more and more complicated. We are at 4000 pigeons released per competition. 1100 pigeon fanciers in France play the internationals, so it is difficult to satisfy everyone. We try to satisfy as many as possible. And it is not easy to make decisions about releasing.
“What wears out the leadership function are the “keyboard fags”, the “crocodiles”, those people who on social networks make comments, take sides and often refuse to give a hand. The associations lose their volunteers who are often demoralised by all these comments. My spirit is collective, I don’t imagine privileging this or that pigeon fancier. We try to satisfy the majority, it’s not easy” concludes this enthusiast.