It’s a date they don’t want to miss. An outstretched hand that they gladly welcome. 2:45 pm Champ-de-Mars in Paris. The sun tries to make its way through the scattered clouds. It’s nice out. This Tuesday, May 31, Mariam, Badia and Sandrin Karin attended a muscle building session led by Rousseau.
Short hair, sticky smile on the lips and boundless energy, the president of this fifties up sport! United for Sport, a solidarity organization that promotes inclusive and accessible sports practice for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. For the third year in a row, she follows a small group of women victims of violence at a training rate per week and the Women and Family Rights Information Center (CIDFF) in Paris.
The purpose of these regular sports activities is to allow women to free themselves from the barriers caused by their violence, to regain a body that is sometimes battered and regained self-confidence. In the program? Yoga and relaxation sessions, cycling, swimming, team sports or muscle strengthening and cardio. “The idea is to be with them in a physical movement, thanks to the sport, but also personal and professional. ” Karin Rousseau explains. To do this, she works closely with psychologists and CIDFF’s professional integration counselors.
In a pebble path in the Champ-de-Mars Garden, colorful plots are scattered on the ground and draw a circular path – or almost. In the single file, small groups of women move forward and alternately raise their knees, chase the steps, and jump. Each round ends with ten squats and ten lunges. The time for circuit training has come and Badia is already trying to negotiate. “Can’t we do six instead?” Nice try, but don’t let Karine calm herself.
Say the same thing
Her blonde hair is picked up by a black crocodile clip, Badia wears a naughty smile and blows away the joy of survival. Since he returned to the sport last February, he hasn’t missed a workout. “It’s a moment when I find myself, I forget everything and give up. ” It is also a breath of fresh air. A deep breath from the four walls of the hotel room, which he has occupied since he left the marital home last December.
“It’s hard to be a broken woman. I retreated to myself, I had no taste for anything else and I was stepping into depression, She believes her face is suddenly more serious. It’s rare to find people who give you the strength to move forward. “
This Shakti, everyone draws it from each other’s life stories. “We know that the people around us are also in a difficult situation. It makes you feel less alone. ” Sandra observes. A mother of three, the 34-year-old is sure of one thing: Sport saved her life. “During the effort, you don’t think about the injury you got. You can escape, you think about yourself or the ball you have to catch.”
When they wear their sneakers, the labels fly for a break from this sport. “I know their fragility and I am vigilant, but I see them as women above all else, so that they no longer see themselves as mere victims of domestic violence. Karin adds. Because what they are looking for is above all. Bury this painful past and look to the future.
At the turn of a few volleyball passes, Badia shares his desire to be a metro driver with the rest of the group. “I’ve been in the administration for 20 years, and today I want to change my career. ” He admits that by his side, Sandrin dreams of becoming a gateball champion. A Japanese game that shows Crockett again and thanks to Sport Up which he invented. “It’s not very familiar yet, maybe one way!” He said with a smile. Time for laughter, confidence and discussion among teammates, it is also a matter of sports.
Behind this small group at 4 pm, who are now playing a game at the corner of basketball and handball, stands a proud and confident Eiffel Tower. Badia, Mariam and Sandrin slowly lift their heads and reconnect with themselves. It is only a matter of time before they too become proud and confident again.