Stado Tarbes Pyrénées
Stado Tarbes History and Highlights.
Tarbes is the capital of Bigorre, and it is known as the “market town” by many due to its strong industrial tradition. However, the city has been open to more diverse things and started gaining attention for its regional specialties, such as the famous Tarbais beans. Apart from that, the town has currently become a university city that also features a vivid cultural life of clubs and sports. But more importantly, Tarbes is also well known for being the home to the rugby side Stado Tarbes Pyrénées Rugby, which currently competes in the French Nationale 1 rugby competition.
Even though Stado Tarbes Pyrénées started gaining fame in recent years, it has a history longing back to 1902. The original club was known as Stadoceste Tarbais when it was founded in 1901. Just like most smaller sports clubs back in the day, Stadoceste Tarbais was also an amateur club playing rugby, fencing, and boxing back in the day. However, they went on to gain more attention when they became the champions of France two times in rugby, in the years 1920 and 1973.
The French rugby scene was still not professional by then. In the late 90s, Rugby finally became more professionalized, and this transition posed a serious problem for the clubs of Bigorre, especially Stadoceste. The club was stuck in amateur championships and had no success in professional leagues. Everything changed in 2000 when the fellow Bigorre team, CA Lannemezan reached Pro D2 on its sporting merit but was denied due to financial constraints and other implications. Stadoceste Tarbais then went with an offer to merge the 2 clubs to form a larger super-club that shared its resources.
The Hautes-Pyrénées government-backed merger finally happened on August 3, 2000, and the bigger new club LT65 (Lannemezan Tarbes Hautes-Pyrénées) took off in the Pro D2 spot of Lannemezan. Soon came issues within the newly formed club, and amidst all this, it was renamed Tarbes Pyrénées Rugby, the current brand of the club.
Later on, in 2003, Lannemezanais left Tarbes Pyrénées Rugby, pointing out how the merger affected their own city negatively since all matches took place in Tarbes. Fast forward to today, even though Tarbes Pyrénées Rugby really hadn’t had any luck in climbing out of Pro D2 onto the Top 14 league, they have been consistent in the Championnat Fédéral Nationale, also known as Nationale, which is the relegation and promotion league between the Rugby Pro D2 and Fédérale 1.
Apart from their famed rugby team, Stado Tarbes Pyrénées Rugby is also well known for being the home to thousands of prospects who are dreaming of becoming rugby pros. In December 2001, the President of the club, Jacques Tarrene, envisioned a Professional Training Center to bring in and help new talents in the rugby world. He went through with his idea and opened up a training center in September 2002 with 13 trainees. The training center got the approval of Youth and Sports in June 2003.
Once the training center successfully took off, more talents like K. Lope, J. B. Fourcade, E. Cazenevette, and F. Fortassin were brought in to join the professional group. The center was then classified in category two during the season 2003-2004. Soon followed professional contracts, and the training center began booming. The center was classified in category 1 in the 2009-2010 season. Then trailed the creation of a private technical school in 2013, and in 2014, the center was ranked 2nd nationally in Pro D2. The training center is opulent with study rooms, a multimedia resource center, a language center, three different pitches, a weights room, and an indoor swimming pool.
Over the years, the Club has made training one of its major objectives. Currently, the Stado Tarbes Pyrénées Rugby is still successfully operational on its mission of facilitating the young to reach the highest level of professional rugby within the country. It has become one of the go-to places for young talents to balance out sports and studies and reach their goals in rugby.