A major issue

a suitable territory

Daily sporting activity is an essential part of French culture, with 48% of French people doing sport each day. However sporting opportunities are not always adequate. The French Riviera and Sophia Antipolis in particular, boast an exceptional territory for developing the sport-health-wellbeing sector.

The mild local climate means outdoor sports can be enjoyed almost year-round, while the landscape diversity (sea and mountains) means people can practice a wide range of activities. Many kinds of sport can be enjoyed including high level sport, leisure sport, nature sport and health sport. Indeed, Sophia Antipolis offers an exceptional natural setting with fitness trails and hiking paths in the Valmasque Park, Brague Park and Bouillides Park, as well as a whole host of sporting facilities: four golf courses (Le Provençal, Golf de Biot, Victoria Club Golf and Golf Country Club Cannes Mougins), the Nautipolis Aquatic Centre, Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, 2 dojos, a climbing gym, sports centres and more.

Each year, the technology park hosts the “Sophia Games” organised by the Sophia Club Entreprises, which offer around thirty solo and group competitions for people working in Sophia Antipolis.

What’s more, employees can forge partnerships with people working in nearby companies or with Sophia’s sportech sector companies such as LGP Systems, Traxxs, Equinox and the European Society of Cardiology.

A major public health issue

sport-health centres

In the framework of the French National Sport and Health Strategy, the President of the Republic, the Ministry of Sport and the Ministry of Health and Solidarity set a target to draw up a list of 500 Sport and Health Centres and to reach 3 million sports participants by 2022.

On 14 January, a list of 138 Sport and Health Centres was published, covering almost the entire French territory, including the MSS-PACA-06-3 / Antibes Juan-les-Pins. T hese establishments will support people who want to take up or return to physical or sporting activity for their health and wellbeing. Sport and Health Centres involve close collaboration between sport and health professionals, who offer tailored and personalised coaching, taking into account the age, state of health and fitness level of the person requiring support. Patients who have been prescribed adapted physical activity by their GP are given priority.

Strengthening the sector

the Rivera’s offer

The Sophia Antipolis technology park offering complements the existing Riviera sector with in particular:

> The All in Academy by Jo Tsonga which has 3 centres in Villeneuve-Loubet, Paris and Lyon. The tennis-studies academy strives for performance and excellence thanks to coaching by experts for a tailored tennis approach, and custom academic and teaching support.

> Nice Metropole is home to many stakeholders from the world of sport and hopes to make a name for itself in connected sport in order to become a “smart sport city” by creating a sport cluster.

> The Alpes-Maritimes and the Var’s “Azur Sport Santé” centre, offering resources, expertise and sport-health promotion, aims to facilitate and promote physical activity as a life-long health tool.

>To encourage free, fun and local sporting opportunities, Cannes town has launched the “Cannes, open-air sport capital” project. This project is addressed to all, seasoned and occasional sportsmen and women, solo and family hikers, to enable them to find their way around the urban environment while discovering the town.

The project is structured around four axes:

  • Creation of trails dedicated to running or hiking
  • Creation of outdoor fitness areas
  • Certification for outdoor sports events
  • Reporting of outdoor sports facilities
Sport as a research topic

Sport-health & innovation

Université Côte d’Azur

Université Côte d’Azur quickly took up the topic of sport-health and is a recognised player of its local development.

The benefits of regular physical and sporting activity are now fully recognised thanks to ample scientific literature based on surveys of the general public and vulnerable individuals (seniors, people suffering from chronic diseases and people with disabilities). Based on the scientific orientations of the Laboratory of Human Motricity, Expertise, Sport and Health (LAMHESS) and the Reference Centre for Health, Wellbeing and Aging/heliix, Université Côte d’Azur quickly positioned itself in this research area. Thanks to close collaboration with the local ecosystem (University Hospital; local authorities; district health authority), many research programmes have been deployed to examine both the effects of intervention programmes in vulnerable sectors of society and the psychological and socio-political factors promoting the long-term practice of sport.


In 2013, an Industrial Training and Research agreement was signed with the company Diagana Sport Santé to design the “As du Cœur” [Ace of Hearts] programmeexploring the psycho-social factors of long-term commitment by people suffering from heart disease. The programme led to the development of a Specialised Resource Centre promoting sport-health in the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var (PACA-East), recognised by the PACA Regional Health Authority, which supported its creation in August 2015. The University is one of its founding members.

Université Côte d’Azur also planned to host the11th international HEPA Europe congress in Nice from 1-3 September focusing on the latest scientific expertise in the domain. Given the current health crisis, the congress was postponed to 2021.

Start-ups and companies serving the sector

Université Côte d’Azur is also involved in sport-health innovation, through regular collaborations with start-ups and companies using new technologies to promote sport-health (non-exhaustive list).

my coach activity

My Coach Activity lets users make training programmes tailored to their profile and based on the data provided when creating an account.


WeWard is a young start-up composed of a passionate new technologies team, who aim to increase the amount of time people spend walking. To this end, WeWard monetises and rewards physical effort, while protecting the privacy of its customers.


Bepatient commercialises a flexible e-Health platform, which makes patients play an active role, consolidates their knowledge and improves the coordination of players involved in their course of care, ensuring continued monitoring between hospitals and healthcare professionals.


Mooven develops a range of customised programmes and solutions with remote sessions, helping everyone, regardless of age, health status, and place of residence, wishing to live better lives thanks to physical activity.

Quality training and teaching

Economic development issues

Due to the public health challenges it involves, sport-health raises socio-economic development issues. To cope with increased demand, there is now a diversification and even a proliferation of professional training for stakeholders in this sector. Once again, the University acted quickly to offer quality training and mentoring, in particular through its STAPS Adapted Physical Activity and Health degree courses (offering specific priorities for mentoring people with medical conditions), and a Master’s degree in Adapted Physical Activity and Health.

In parallel, the Azur Sport Santé resource and expertise centre carried out surveys and best practice studies in this field, enabling the creation of the “My Sport-Health PACA” site, which was released in 2020 by the French social welfare system.