A little bit of history...

After the First World War, Edouard Herriot, mayor of Lyon and future minister of Public Instruction and President of the Council, developed a municipal policy based on social hygiene.

Aware of the issue of physical education, he therefore accepted the proposal of André Latarjet, a professor of medicine in Lyon working on the development of sports medicine, to open an ‘institute of physical education’ in Lyon. The resulting establishment, ILEPS, opened its doors in 1920 and was the first institution of its kind in France, unless we take into account Georges Demeny’s Cours Supérieur (a sport and medical training school founded in 1903 and which Latarjet took over as director in 1924). Seven years later, in 1927, Regional Physical Education Institutes (IREP) were set up in France, and in 1928 ILEPS was transformed into an IREP, while remaining affiliated to the Lyon faculty of medicine.

Along with Bordeaux, Paris, Lille, Nancy, Montpellier, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Clermont-Ferrand, Rennes and Marseille, it therefore constituted one of the major centres for preparation of the Certificate of Aptitude for Teaching Gymnastics (CAEG), also offering complementary training for medical students wishing to specialise in medicine applicable to sport and physical education.

Under the joint direction of Latarjet and the Inspector of Primary Education Coche, IREP also played a role in the continuing education of instructors and training in sports clubs, and of primary school teachers. From the outset, Latarjet set up within the institute a physical activity research laboratory, which launched scientific and educational experiments with national implications, such as the ‘health classes’ set up in the 1930s.

As the institutional framework of physical education evolved, the IREP underwent a series of transformations to its status, name and role, becoming first IREPS then UER EPS. In 1972, it moved from its location at 33 rue Bossuet in Lyon to the La Doua campus, newly established at Villeurbanne in order to accommodate Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1. From 1996 onwards, however, the premises at 27-29 boulevard du 11 novembre 1918, designed for 400 students, were no longer sufficient for an establishment that had become UFR APS then UFR STAPS and which had a student population of close to 2,500.

In the 1980s, UER EPS undertook a policy of diversification (Adapted Physical Activities, Education and Motricity, Sport Training and Management of Sports Organisations) by creating undergraduate honours degrees (maîtrises) in 1987 and a post-graduate degree (DEA) in 1988. Since 2003, UFR STAPS has applied the Bachelor - Master - Doctoral degree process.

In 1983, it opened a new research institution, the Centre for Research and Innovation in Sport (CRIS), thus confirming its dual origins in teaching and research.