On April 6, 2022, the men’s volleyball team at Schweitzer High School in Mulhouse won the French UNSS volleyball championship. Thanks to the solidarity between Mulhousiens and Olympic champion Benjamin Tonighti, they will defend the colors of France at the World Championships in Brazil.
By winning the French UNSS volleyball championship on April 6, 2022, the boys from Schweitzer High School in Mulhouse won their ticket to the world championships in school sports in Brazil. An adventure that they will experience at the end of June 2022 after a wave of solidarity from volleyball in Alsace.
This is the story of eight children from Schweitzer High School in Mulhouse, who took the road to Charleville-Mézières (Ardennes) in early April 2022 to compete in the final stages of the French UNSS volleyball championships: “We started with a certain handicap, because with eight players we had few opportunities for replacements”admits team manager David Razafindrazaka.
Sports teacher at this high school for 23 years, he accompanies the students during this adventure: “Before the tournament, I told the players that they had something and that they could believe it, even though there were few of them.”. This may be the strength of a group that knows each other by heart: “To experience this with players that we have existed since childhood, it’s magic”responds Maxime, a final year student.
The youngsters really played the game, they were serious, got up super early and really prepared for the matches.David Razafinrazaka
Team leader and sports teacher at Schweitzer High School
Today, the champions are between 15 and 17 years old and have managed to defy the odds by getting out of their group game with two wins and one loss: “The next day it was semi and then the final. And the youngsters really played the match. They were serious, got up super early and prepared really well for the two matches.”remember their proud 54-year-old manager.
Result, a victory two sets to zero against the team from Villefranche-sur-Saône, until then undefeated: “This match was the trigger. The united team. But in the final we had to meet Niort, who had beaten us in the group stage. The boys lost the first set, but they managed to take over and win the next two! “
Result, a victory (19-25, 25-20, 15-10) and an explosion of joy on the Ardennes floor. It is true that the inhabitants of Mulhouse will represent France in Brazil for the World Schools Volleyball Championships:
But after the euphoria, it was soon necessary to get down to earth. In order to cross the Atlantic, each player had to pay more than € 500 out of pocket: “It was a real blow, but we had to go. So I chased the money during my two-week vacationremembers the leader. And it seemed there was real solidarity in the world of volleyball. “
David Razafindrazaka was able to find funds from the Grand Est region, from high school, but also thanks to Benjamin Tonightti, Olympic champion with the French team and from Mulhouse: “I thought it was normal to participate! I know the parents of some players and it would have been a real shame if the young people could not go to the worlds”explains the captain of the French team.
I knew it would affect the Alsace peopleBenjamin Tonuitti
Captain of the French volleyball team
The 32-year-old volleyball player personally participated in the collection and offered his Polish club Jastrzębski Weigels jersey for a draw. A draw that took place on the occasion of the semi-finals of the French Championship between the girls from ASPTT Mulhouse, champions of France in 2021, and Cannes: “This draw was my idea. I knew that in a fight like this, with a lot of peopleit came to affect the Alsatians. “
Thanks to all the subsidies and these outpourings of solidarity, David Razafindrazaka was able to raise the necessary € 12,000: “I really want to thank everyone. It’s a huge reward for the kids. Living from the World Cups is amazing. And they won their qualification on the field!”
Before the youngsters travel to Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil, Benjamin Touitti hopes to be able to send them a quick message: “They represent their high school, but especially France! If we can organize a little video, that would be nice”. What could be better than advice from an Olympic champion?
Currently, high school students are not aware of the height of the event: “But when the jersey and tracksuit from the French team come, they will realize it. The tears will flow”, predicts David Razafindrazaka. The people of Mulhouse have an agreement with the world’s best volleyball nations from 19 to 27 June.