Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said it was vital for the next Olympics to be "cool" ©Getty Images

Tony Estanguet, the President of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organising Committee, has stressed the importance of engaging new audiences, saying the next edition has to be "cool" to increase sports participation in France.

The three-time Olympic canoeing gold medallist spoke to insidethegames here at the Stade de France, about leaving a legacy in Seine-Saint-Denis, one of the most deprived departments in France, through the power of sport.

Part of that would be through engaging the local community, which also has one of the lowest levels of sporting infrastructure in the country.

"The legacy for us is how many people will do sport and to be engaging; and to be engaging you have to be cool," said Estanguet to insidethegames

"It has to be fun, it has to be different, it has to be innovative and the Games are this magic moment where you will find athletics, swimming and other core sports, and on the other side some really new moments.

"When we speak about the Opening Ceremony we speak about being surprising with this format, when we speak about the marathon we allow the public to participate and there will be the same number of athletes, male and female. 

"At each step we ask how we can go one step further. 

"There's a strong desire to deliver Games in a different way."

Several sports are to take place in the city centre of Paris ©Getty Images
Several sports are to take place in the city centre of Paris ©Getty Images

In 2018, Seine-Saint Denis had a poverty rate twice the national average at 28 per cent, with the department having the highest crime rate the same year in metropolitan France.

The Opening Ceremony concept for the Olympic Games aims to welcome 600,000 people to the River Seine, with 200,000 of those spots being ticketed.

Estanguet called the project "ambitious," but added that "the security will be controlled."

If implemented, it would take the opening of the Games away from its traditional format at the stadium.

"Since the beginning of this project we really wanted to associate on one side the best of France because the Games offer unique emotions and that's why we want to have images at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and the foot of the Chateau of Versailles; on the other side we wanted to demonstrate that this kind of project is useful," added Estanguet.

"It made sense for us to have dedicated attention to this territory which is the youngest in France. 

"In a situation where they need the Games to develop and sport is not very developed here. 

"It's one of the lowest departments in France in terms of the number of sporting infrastructure so it made sense for us, because it’s really close to Paris, to use such a beautiful event to have a legacy specifically in this territory for us because it’s a win-win situation."

Saint-Denis is an integral part of Paris 2024 preparations, according to Tony Estanguet ©Getty Images
Saint-Denis is an integral part of Paris 2024 preparations, according to Tony Estanguet ©Getty Images

Paris 2024 say the 4,000 houses that are to be used for the Olympic and Paralympic Villages will then be given to the public for social housing in the department, while Estanguet added that €2 million (£1.72 million/$2.11 million) has been invested in the area on social sports programmes.

The Paris 2024 Olympic Games are scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11 2024, with the Paralympics set to follow from August 28 to September 8.