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At 18, Romain left alone to ride with the English thanks to a Zellidja travel grant (Puy-de-Dôme)

“I’ve always wanted a change of scenery. For Romain Vidal, that means changing countries to see… new skateparks. This Châtel-Guyonnais has been passionate about freestyle scooters since he was 10 years old. Today, he offers himself the month of August in England with his backpack, a tent, a Zellidja travel purse and of course, his scooter.

A human experience

Zellidja is a national association, under the aegis of the Fondation de France. More than 100 years old, it has always aimed to finance travel for young people in search of adventure. The founder, Jean Walter, wanted the enriching and educational experience of a trip to be accessible to young people.

The young Puydomois leaves alone from July 31 to August 28.

To have a grant, you must be French-speaking, be between 16 and 20 years old, leave alone for at least one month and have a travel theme that will follow up on a travel report. All reports are archived at the National Library.

The criteria seem simple, but they can be a source of concern for parents. Maryline, Romain’s mother, is not insensitive to her son’s decision. “I have mixed feelings: he will leave alone, that worries me a lot. But on the other hand, I’m proud of him. He will live a rich human experience. He will come back grown in many respects. »

Ride 200 km on a scooter between Leicester and London

The young man had the idea of ​​the trip a year ago. He worked on it and then proposed it to the association. The jury of the Auvergne region then read and selected his file for an oral interview in March. He and three other young people from the region discussed their trip with the jury. A few weeks later, the authority delivers the answer: they are packed. Romain will receive a scholarship of €850.

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Romain will take with him in his backpack, his protective equipment and spare parts.
He will go to Leicester by bus from Clermont-Ferrand. Once there, he will move from skatepark to skatepark to London. A distance of almost 200 km, which he will do on a scooter. To sleep: tent, or homestay. Among its stopover points, Corby, the city where “Adrenaline Alley” is located, the largest skatepark in Europe.

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“My trip is stunt scooter themed. The choice of England is not insignificant, it is the reference country in Europe. In concrete terms, my trip will consist of meeting new people and chatting with enthusiasts”, specifies Romain, his gaze full of enthusiasm.

He often films his tricks which he shares on Instagram @romain_vidal_63. During the trip, he will shoot for a souvenir video. He will send it to Zellidja accompanied by a travel diary.

“Romain’s project has really thrilled us. He is very original and super friendly,” explains Bernard Leblanc, Zellidja delegate for the Auvergne region. He and the other two members of the jury find the spirit that the association promotes. “The trips that we encourage are those that go beyond the framework of simple tourist travel. Those where young people want to get out of their comfort zone to go on an adventure. »

For Romain, the adventure began on Sunday July 31 and will end on August 28.

Maxime Conchon
maxime.conchon@centrefrance.com

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