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When football is a vector of inclusion for the mentally handicapped, in Calvados

Cédric Garnier, Sébastien Gohel and Agathe Glowacki are working to organize a shared football awareness day on Thursday May 5 in Bretteville-sur-Odon. ©Nicolas CLAICH

The District of Calvados and LC Bretteville-sur-Odon, near Caen (Calvados), are organizing a shared football set, Thursday May 5, 2022, at the municipal stadium. The objective: to raise awareness of this discipline, a vector of inclusion for people with mental disabilities.

What is shared football?

This is football played by people with mental disabilities. The teams are formed according to the level of disability of the practitioners, which can be very disparate.

We have determined four categories. Some can hardly move when others could almost play in a traditional team. If the gaps are too large, players could be lost.

Sébastien Gohel and Agathe Glowacki, members of the shared foot commission of the Calvados Football District

Number of players and dimensions of the field are also adapted, from the motor skills course to the seven against seven. Note that shared football is played in a mixed race. The only condition for being dismissed: to have a disability diagnosed and recognized by the Departmental House for Persons with Disabilities (MDPH).

Where is shared football in Calvados?

Some clubs are pioneers by benefiting from a “shared football” section for several years. This is the case in Bayeux, Vire or Bretteville-sur-Odon. Associations like Cap Sport also offer this activity. Since 2020, the District of Calvados has created a dedicated commission to develop the practice. This is the mission of Agathe Glowacki, Master student at UFRSTAPS, mention “adapted physical activity and health” (APAS). “We are in the construction phase,” she explains. It takes time and willpower.” Since the creation of the departmental commission, sections have opened in Falaise, Ifs, Hérouville or the PTT Caen. “We try to share our experiences. Several clubs would agree to open shared football sections, but do not necessarily know how to do it. Sébastien Gohel, who is also administrator of the APAEI (Association of parents of maladjusted children), also strives to link up with the IME (medico-educational institute) or the ESAT (establishment and service of help through work ) that accommodate people with disabilities. Because they all share a conviction: “football is a great vector of inclusion”.

What are the benefits of shared football?

Physical activity allows people with mental disabilities to progress at the motor level. “As training progresses, we learn to move, to make passes. There is an evolution in the game”, assures Sébastien Gohel. But this father of a 23-year-old son with a form of autism knows that the most important benefits relate to social interactions. It bears witness to Florent’s progress.

He’s a lot more open to others now, and a lot of that is thanks to football. For him, missing a workout is out of the question!

Sébastien Gohel, father of a disabled child

Sébastien also remembers this young man who you could hardly touch in his early days, his gaze invariably fixed on the ground. “After two years of football, he was smiling and running all over the pitch. His joy when he scored his first goal was very moving to see. So many gratifying moments for very committed supervisors.

Why is this set taking place in Bretteville?

The LCBO is one of the pioneers of shared football in Calvados. For the past ten years, people with disabilities have been teasing leather every Thursday evening at the municipal stadium. “This season, there are ten of us,” notes Sébastien Gohel, who oversees the team. “The section is an integral part of the club, insists Cédric Garnier, president of LCBO football. Like all the other teams, it has its jersey game. And, since the Covid crisis, all players have their own water bottle. For us, sharing is a very important value”. On the lit grounds of the municipal stadium, eight teams will meet on Thursday, at the end of the day to allow those who work in Esat to move around, to share above all a moment of pleasure and happiness.

Videos: currently on Actu

Thursday May 5, 6.30 p.m., Bretteville-sur-Odon stadium. Information. Agathe Glowacki: 06.66.64.92.25. glowacki.agathe@gmail.com.

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