Rouages: "Keeping sports facilities in the best possible condition".

Henri Boutier is a technical officer and gardener at the University Physical and Sports Activities Department. On the Faculty of Pharmacy site, he maintains the green spaces and keeps the sports facilities in good working order. This month, he tells us about these missions in the Rouages video series produced by the University of Montpellier.

It's under a slightly gray sky that we meet Henri Boutier in the premises of the University Sports and Physical Activities Department on the Faculty of Pharmacy campus. At this early hour of the morning, the tennis and padel courts lining the small building where seven staff members work every day to offer UM students and staff a free and varied range of sporting activities. " We're a small group, and we work in a really good atmosphere," says the agent in charge of the green spaces and sports facilities. 

Trim, cut, maintain and repair

The pharmacy campus is one of four sports sites that welcome the more than 10,000 students enrolled at Suaps throughout the year: "There's the university sports center, also known as La Motte rouge, located just behind the Triolet campus, the university sports palace located on the Veyrassi campus and Richter," explains Henri Boutier, whose duties are attached to the "pharmacy" site. Henri prunes, cuts and mows, " and with the surface area we have, that's quite a lot of work! A skill acquired through contact with the Jardin des Plantes gardening team. " It was the first position I held when I joined the University of Montpellier ten years ago. It was a real little paradise where it was fun to learn," recalls this former construction professional.

Henri Boutier may have a green thumb, but that doesn't mean he's giving up his maintenance job. " My job is to keep the sports facilities in the best possible condition, so that people can practice in the best possible conditions ," he explains. Cleaning and blowing the tennis courts, maintaining and repairing the nets, " the padel courts require specific maintenance, as they are synthetic floors covered in sand, so they have to be levelled and swept regularly. We also sometimes have to change the padel windows, which can break quite easily. The large synthetic soccer pitch is also the focus of his attention: " I have a small tractor with a trailer that brushes the pitch and decompacts the soil. It's an operation that can take a whole day and has to be repeated every 15 days.

Logistics and versatility

When Henri Boutier isn't out and about, it's in front of his computer or on the phone that his mission continues: "There's a lot of material to order for the maintenance and repair of these structures, so I'm the one who liaises with the companies, who receives the deliveries...". It's a multi-faceted job that also demands listening skills and a certain diplomacy. " The Suaps not only offers free practice sports, but also teaching, so you have to be attentive to the needs of all the teachers to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that classes run as smoothly as possible ", stresses the agent, who truly appreciates the collective dimension of her work: " I'm both autonomous in my missions, since I'm the only technical agent on the site, but in constant contact with the whole administrative team and the sports teachers. We form a group serving the common interest, and I really enjoy that," he concludes with a broad smile.