The French Disabled Athletics team visiting

The French Disabled Athletics team visiting

This morning, the French Handisport Athletics team was visiting ASM Clermont Auvergne. Moments of exchange and contact initiated by the National Sports Agency in the person of Jean-Marc Lhermet in order to bring together athletes targeted for the next Olympic Games and professional clubs capable of responding most effectively to the needs of these champions.

In his new mission at the National Sports Agency, Jean-Marc Lhermet embarked on a grand tour of France of professional clubs (Rugby, Football, Basket, Hand, etc.) in order to “federate all the clubs around the Paris 2024 Olympic project and create connections between the needs of the athletes and the infrastructures, skills or means of the professional clubs that can be made available to them in order to help them optimize their preparation. » On familiar ground, Jean-Marc took advantage of the training course for the French Handisport Athletics team in Clermont to organize a visit and an exchange with his lifelong club. “This allows us to put into practice the links we want to forge between athletes from all walks of life and professional clubs, rejoices Jean-Marc who continues the explanations around his 2024 mission. “The ANS has targeted 250 athletes (excluding team sports and INSEP) who evolve individually or in small groups and who do not necessarily have all the means available to optimize their Olympic preparation. They may need certain specific infrastructures for bodybuilding, recovery or sometimes facilities to access certain specific diagnoses, care or rehabilitation protocols… The idea is to develop connections with professional structures which have all these means. available and would be ready to get involved with athletes in this Olympic project. » After a first tour of France and an inventory, Jean-Marc is more than pleasantly surprised by the reception of the project. “It’s really encouraging to see how open the big clubs we were able to visit are to the idea of ​​exchanges and how the Olympic project unites all stakeholders. Links are forged, bridges are created, some connections are already in place, the others will follow. » Like those that should soon see the light of day in the Yellow and Blue training center that the Disabled athletes discovered this morning.

“Disabled athletes very often have exceptional and inspiring life stories that put a lot of things into perspective”.

The national trainer, Olivier Pauly, surrounded by about twenty athletes, carefully followed the visit led by Aurélien Rougerie, Sports Manager of the Yellow and Blue. “It’s always very enriching for us to see how a group evolves on a daily basis. The ANS project is driven by a great open-mindedness that makes it possible to decompartmentalize athletes and pool resources. Of course, everyone here admires the infrastructure and the organization that reigns at ASM. Having the possibility of being able to take advantage of this at times and as needed is a great opportunity for these athletes who sometimes have obstacles in their preparation. Beyond that, it is also very rewarding to be able to get closer to top athletes, to share our passions and why not to enrich each other with our various experiences. Disabled athletes very often have exceptional and inspiring life stories that put a lot of things into perspective”. That of Ronan Pallier, is one of them like so many others. At a time when “resilience” is sometimes used as a marketing tool, it takes on its full meaning in the story of this champion. At 51, the man nicknamed “Grandpa Jumper” suddenly lost his sight at 32 after a valid athletic career and a personal best at 8.05m (Editor’s note: the French record is now 8, 42), he began a second life as an athlete in Handisport by participating in the Athens Olympics in 2004. He then went on to the Olympiads, winning bronze in Beijing (2008) in the 4x100m then in Tokyo (2020) in the jump length. Paris 2024 will be his last challenge, he will then be 53 years old and 20 years of career when he sets off, guided only by sound, after his 16 strides bringing him into the sand of the Olympic jumper. “My “disabled” record is 7.13m but currently I’m more around 6.25m”relativizes Ronan delighted to share his morning with other athletes. “It’s a great project to foster connections with structures like this. I think there is a lot to learn from the complementarity of athletes through the way we share our experiences and our daily lives. It is simply inspiring and enriching. Obviously in individual sports like ours sometimes we are limited by little things that could be brought by others. The connections that are created help us, that’s for sure. » But the thought of the athlete goes far beyond this service that professional clubs could render. “The diversity of athletes is a strength. I believe that we can also bring good vibes to those who welcome us. In Handisport, athletes have very often experienced the worst situations and have developed a kind of unfailing positivity as well as mutual aid. This allows you to put many situations into perspective, to understand and to question yourself. By creating these situations of exchange and sharing we are in a win-win relationship…” In one sentence, this is the ambition of the Agence Nationale du Sport, which is leading this ambitious project to provide all the skills and resources to those who will make our colors shine during Paris 2024.

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