In this unique sports hall in France, children with disabilities push their boundaries

David Guedin has been a physiotherapist for 24 years. In 2018, he did a research dissertation with the aim of showing the benefits of high-intensity bodybuilding in young people with motor disabilities. “My work received the first prize from the Order of Physiotherapists in the senior category”proudly tells the 47-year-old man.

The professional then completed several training courses to become a CrossFit trainer, this discipline which mainly combines gymnastics, endurance and cardio. In September 2021, he opened the first French CrossFit room that welcomes children with motor disabilities. Called “CrossFit Metamorphosis”, it is located in Dijon (Côte-d’Or), within the Sensory and Motor Device (DSM) of the PEP CBFC (Pupille d’Enseignement Public Center Bourgogne-Franche-Comté).

Varied and customized exercises

Every Monday, David Guedin accompanies about fifteen young people aged 7 to 20 years. “They are usually divided into groups of five depending on their age”, he explains. Supported by two students, the coach first presents the day’s session and then starts a playful warm-up of five to ten minutes. “Then we go through the exercises, the intensity increases, and the children start sweating a lot. » A CrossFit session lasts one hour.

Rowing, climbing ropes, burpees, obstacle courses, arm bends … The exercises offered are varied and above all adapted to the different types of motor disabilities that are present: amputations, hemiplegia, diplegia, quadriplegia or even neuromuscular diseases. “I am very careful to change the program often so that the young people do not feel tired. This allows them to continue to stimulate their muscles while avoiding a routine “assures the physiotherapist.

They improve their cardio and mobility

According to David Guedin, the exercise of CrossFit is an effective solution to improve the quality of life for children with disabilities. “In December 2021, the Haute Autorité de Santé recognized that muscle building should be a priority for these young people. Thanks to the adaptive sessions, they work on their mobility and improve their cardio, their flexibility …”

Children also achieve functional independence. “Sports activity improves their walking distanceexplains the professional. The improvement of their physical capacity also makes it possible to alleviate certain actions in daily life, such as transfers to the toilet. » David Guedin also wants to push children out of their comfort zone. “It is very important because they gain self-esteem and are proud of themselves after completing the exercises. »

“Young people are always at the bottom”

Almost a year after the opening of “CrossFit Metamorphosis”, the results are positive. “The young people are always fully, always motivated. One mother told me that every Monday her son was happy to go to school because he knew he was going to sports next time., cheers the coach. Young people appreciate the fact that they are in a group and do not have to perform their rehabilitation alone. Parents have also noticed a development in their children. “They are more and more independent and have even better school results. Sport makes life easier for families and caregivers. »

Finally, David Guedin wants these kids to push for the door to a classic CrossFit room, states France 3 Burgundy-Franche-Comte who attended one of its sessions. He also wants all French rehabilitation centers to offer sessions tailored to young people with disabilities. “It would be less boring for both the professional and the child. », he tells us. From September 2022, the physiotherapist will offer adaptive sessions on Mondays, but also on Wednesdays.

In this unique sports hall in France, children with disabilities push their boundaries

Leave a Comment