SportsStade Rennais pushes its young people into "real life"...

Stade Rennais pushes its young people into “real life” to open them up to the world


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Some did try to dodge, because they did not feel comfortable. Undoubtedly intimidated by the handicap, by this world that they meet little and of which they are unaware of everything. On Thursday evening, eleven young players registered at the Stade Rennais training center took off their crampons to tread the parquet floor of the Hautes-Ourmes gymnasium, in the Blosne district. For more than an hour, these kickball enthusiasts were deprived of their legs during a wheelchair basketball session. “I already have blisters, it’s crazy,” says one of the kids. Sitting in their armchair, the footballers rub shoulders with a new universe. Disability, but also amateur sport, health sport, mixed sport… Real life what.

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All the young people taking part in this handibasket match are from the 2005 generation. And all of them dream of one day becoming a professional football player. How many will make it? “Two, maybe three per generation,” slips Vincent Françoise, one of their supervisors. Recently arrived at the club, this former specialized educator took charge of the educational project of the training center. His ambition? “Develop an appetite for something other than football, get young people out of their comfort zone, out of their training center bubble. They are focused on the sports project because it will decide their career. But they must not forget to live their youth, to open up to the world. They must get some air, know something else to acquire a knowledge of being outside the field, ”explains the educator.

Young people from the Stade Rennais training center took part in a disabled basketball session to open up to the world of disabled sport. – T. Le Banner

U17 striker, sometimes upgraded to U19, Noah Maboulou-Lebret is one of those young people who live H24 for football. He particularly appreciates these outings outside the training center offered by his club. “It feels good to get out of the center, we are lucky. We go out to see new things,” explains the young man. And his wheelchair basketball experience? “It surprised me, I didn’t think it was that hard. In everyday life, we backtrack to make defensive withdrawals. There, we are straight ahead, we must look behind. It’s really complicated “. The boy obviously has a full head. But what will become of him if he does not obtain the coveted professional status? “We have a responsibility to support them and their families, whether they succeed or not. Sometimes there are dramatic accidents, young people who fall into depression when they cannot have a career. As if they had nothing else,” explains Vincent Françoise.

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Thursday evening, the kids from the training center crossed paths with Marie-Paule, leader of the disabled basketball team, who had lost a leg, or Franck, who lost the use of his in a motorcycle accident. twenty-two years ago.

“When we come to the gym, we are all equal. We forget a little his handicap the time of training or a match. It’s good for morale, ”explains Franck.

His view on the presence of future football cracks? “They read the game well, it shows. For us, it’s a way to show them that our sport exists, that it’s a discipline in its own right”. A life lesson for kids whose daily life is to avoid injuries at all costs.

Young people from the Stade Rennais training center took part in a disabled basketball session to open up to the world of disabled sport.
Young people from the Stade Rennais training center took part in a disabled basketball session to open up to the world of disabled sport. – T. Le Banner
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In recent years, many clubs have opted for better support for their young people. Stade Rennais is one of them. To open up to the general public and not just to its supporters, the club has notably launched a program called “Move”. The objective: to fight against a sedentary lifestyle and to promote sport-health. “Our players have the role of ambassadors, they must be aware of that. Sometimes the message gets across better when it comes from a well-known footballer than when it’s a doctor. We have a responsibility, ”says Mathilde Lakhdar, who leads the CSR (corporate social responsibility) policy at Stade Rennais.

A program to promote healthy sport

In November, the 2004 generation had been brought to push the doors of the prison of Rennes-Vezin for an organized meeting with prisoners. The “return match” took place on the grounds of La Piverdière and in the bays of Roazhon Park, where several prisoners had been guided by the former pro player Romain Danzé. “In all situations, sport unites, it federates. You just have to agree to get out of your bubble, ”says Vincent Françoise. For one evening, eleven kids did it, and with a smile.


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