Base du Temple-sur-Lot is positioning itself in sports for people with disabilities.

The Temple-sur-Lô base wants to become an important destination for sports teams with disabilities as Paris 2024 approaches. It already has a French paracanoe team among its loyal customers.

With the arrival of spring and sunny days, the Temple-sur-Lô base celebrates the return of sports delegations, national and international, who begin preparations for the summer dates. This week, the French parachute and paracanoe teams, for example, were able to meet the Latvian online canoe selection on the Lot.

This naval base is a privileged location for many French federations such as the Canoeing Federation (FFCK) and rowing in particular to host their sports sections for the disabled. Last week, the blue paracanoes deposited their suitcases, paddles and boats at this Lot-et-Garonne sports center for fifteen days of training. Coaches Matthieu Goubel and Claude Alaphilippe talk about the program of this class, bodybuilding in the morning and training on the water, “in particular for starting and speed exercises.” Four of them attended the training camp in Lot-et-Garonne: Nélia Barbosa, Paralympic runner-up in rowing last summer; Remy Bull, bronze medalist of the last Games; Eddie Potdevin, sixth in Tokyo 2020; and a very young Raphael Louvigny. Real regulars of the site, in the coming months they will make four more stays there. “For watersports, Temple-sur-Lo is heaven,” says Eddie Potdevin. “This is our base camp in the south. All the tracks for the Paralympic Games I have done here.

“The base is the perfect place for us,” sums up Eric Le Leuch, Deputy Director of Performance at FFCK. Everything is accessible on foot, from the bedrooms to the dining room, including the gym. train trips. And that’s why we come all the time. No other place in France offers us all these favorable options for preparation and recovery. In addition, we are looking forward to the opening of new buildings, with all their PMR facilities (see opposite).

“Access to the reservoir is very convenient for people with disabilities because it is close to housing,” adds Nelia Barbosa, who is currently training for the World and European Championships in her category. — It is a calm place and, above all, protected from the wind, which is very important for us disabled kayakers. And finally, it’s so calm and relaxing here. Ideal for wellness.”

The base received the Paris 2024 Games Training Center badge in seven disciplines for “able-bodied” and “disabled”: rowing, canoeing, basketball, taekwondo, judo, handball and boxing. But in order to stand out from 619 other marked places across France, there is a wish that the structure position itself at the reception of sports teams with disabilities. Without neglecting the delegations of actual athletes.

“There are few places in France to host Paralympic athletes,” says Bruno Bluchot, director of SAEM la Base le Temple-sur-Lot, the company that runs the complex. by this summer, we wanted to make as many facilities for people with reduced mobility as possible. Our capacity will increase from six PMR beds at present to 56 in a few months. for Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams to be ahead of the Games.”

New infrastructure planned for July

The Temple-sur-Lo base has invested 12 million euros in a project to modernize its structure. Of course, in Paris 2024. The new infrastructure, which has been under construction for several months (a building with two swimming pools and living quarters, as well as a sports hall), “will be commissioned in July 2022,” according to the director of the facility, Bruno Bluchot. Bed capacity will increase from 280 beds (including six PHCs) to 350 beds (including 56 PHCs). Not to mention the modern equipment that will be available to athletes.