Temple-sur-Lot Base positions itself on disability sports

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As Paris 2024 approaches, Base de Temple-sur-Lot, which wants to be an indispensable place for disabled sports teams, is among the regulars of the French parakano team.

With the arrival of spring and sunny days, Temple-sur-Lot Base observes the return of national and international sports delegations, who have begun their preparations for the summer dates. This week, for example, French paratrooper and paracano teams managed to meet Latvia’s online canoe selection in Lot.

This naval base is a privileged place for many French federations, such as canoe-kayak (FFCK) and rowing federations, especially to bring their disability sports divisions here. The Paracano’s Blues packed their suitcases, oars and boats at this sports center of Lot-et-Garonne for fifteen days of training last week. For this session’s schedule, morning strength training and water training, “especially for beginner and speed workouts”, trust coaches Mathieu Goobel and Claude Alaphilippe. There were four of them at this Lot-et-Garonne meeting: Nelia Barbosa, vice-champion of the Paralympics in canoe last summer; Rémi Boule, bronze medalist in the Final Games; Eddy Potdevin, sixth at Tokyo 2020; and the very young Raphaël Louvigny. Real regulars of the site will make four more stays there in the coming months. “Temple-sur-Lot is heaven for water sports,” says Eddy Potdevin. This is our base camp in the South. I did all the courses for the Paralympics here.

“The base is the perfect place for us,” sums up Eric Le Leuch, FFCK vice director of performance. “Everything from the bedrooms to the dining room to the weight room is within walking distance, including the weight room. Traveling on the train. And that’s why we always come. Elsewhere in France.” No place offers us all these suitable parameters for preparation and recovery, and we look forward to the opening of new buildings with all PMR facilities (see opposite).

“Access to the body of water is very easy for people with reduced mobility as it is close to the accommodation,” adds Nelia Barbosa, who is currently preparing for the World and European Championships in her category. sheltered from the wind. And finally, it’s very calm and relaxing here. Ideal for recovery.”

Base received the Paris 2024 Games Prep Center label for “strong” and “disabled” in seven disciplines: rowing, canoeing, basketball, taekwondo, judo, handball and boxing. But to stand out from the other 619-tagged places in France, there is a desire to position the structure itself in terms of acceptance by disability sports teams. Without neglecting the delegations of valid athletes.

“There are very few places in France that have the capacity to host Paralympic athletes,” says Bruno Blucheau, director of SAEM la Base le Temple-sur-Lot, which runs the complex. For this summer, we wanted to make as many facilities as possible for people with reduced mobility. Our capacity will expand from currently six PMR beds to 56 in a few months. He is also in talks to have Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams before the Games.”

New infrastructures planned for July

Temple-sur-Lot Base invested 12 million euros in the building modernization project. Of course with Paris 2024. According to site manager Bruno Blucheau, the new infrastructure (a building with two swimming pools and accommodation and a gym) that has been under construction for several months “will be delivered in July 2022”. Accommodation capacity will increase from 280 beds (including 6 PMR) to 350 beds (including 56 PMR). Not to mention the state-of-the-art equipment that will be available to athletes.