“This camp allows me to practice new sports that I have never tried and the sport makes me feel better."
An annual French camp for young people, this year supported by the Agitos Foundation’s Grant Support Programme, has taken place with the addition in 2013 of Belgian youngsters.
The fourth edition of the Jeune a Potentiel (JAP), held in Petit-Couronne and organised by the French National Paralympic Committee, united 49 children and teenagers looking to improve their skills in athletics, wheelchair basketball, cycling, swimming, table tennis and archery.
“We are present during the entire year at events to identify future stars - the Criterium deficient visual de Vittel, the Grand-Prix National des Jeunes, the Jeux National de l’avenir - through the regional committees and the members of the federal commission.
“The camp Jeune a Potential is an important step in the identification of young athletes towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games”, said staff member Gwénaël Lanne-Petit.
Belgian Islam, 15, who took part in the camp believes that there is indeed lots of potential amongst the participants:
“There are lots of competent kids in the JAP, and it’s super to compete with them.
“This camp allows me to practice new sports that I have never tried and the sport makes me feel better.
“If there was another exchange next year I would love to come again.”
Paul, 13, from Berck-sur-Mer, France said:” I arrived here thanks to my association and I have already participated in the Jeux de l’avenir, after they proposed me to come here.
“For the moment I play table tennis, do swimming basketball and athletics.
“I loved this camp because for me practicing sports is to be well in life and I would like to continue to practice.”
After the camp, Sami El Gueddari, responsible for JAP, and other staff keep a close eye on the young athletes, supporting them and ensuring they attend sports clubs to keep their progress going.
The French Paralympic Committee also works with Inner Wheel on the project.
In 2013, the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Agitos Foundation, launched the first ever Grant Support Programme.
630,000 Euro was given to over 30 para-sport development projects across the world.
You can follow progress on Twitter - @Agitos and at the IPC’s Facebook page.