When adapted physical activity comes to college

Ten thousand steps and more. With application, Hugo and Louis (some names have been changed) seize the bar placed on the ground, and string together “shoulders and throws”, Dam Dam Deo in the background. The two rather frail boys lift a limited load: 2.5 kilos on each side. A few meters away, facing a wall, Clémence and Judith do vertical arm pulls with a SkiErg, a device that reproduces the movements of cross-country skiers. At the other end of the weight room, two other boys take turns to sweat on an air bike, a combination of a stationary bike and an elliptical …

Thomas Cuisset, the teacher, goes from one small group to another, specifying here an instruction, there a position, relentlessly encouraging his ten students. Students in every sense of the word. These aspiring weightlifters are schooled in 6e or 5e, at the Val de Somme college in Ailly-sur-Somme, near Amiens. But if Mr. Cuisset is indeed a PE teacher in the establishment, it is not an ordinary sports course. It is a personalized training, as part of a healthy sport option.

Weightlifting and bodybuilding

Diabetes, ADHD (attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity), overweight, or even scoliosis, these college students have a handicap or a more or less severe health problem. Solène is in a wheelchair, her lower limbs paralyzed by a birth attack, Little’s syndrome. For these young people, often in great difficulty during sport, when they have not been exempted from it for years, the objective is to (re) get in motion in the best possible conditions. Every Monday afternoon, they meet for a two-hour session of adapted physical activity (APA) in the weight room adjoining the college gymnasium. “What I want is sweat and smiles, summarizes Thomas Cuisset, at the origin of this option, created in 2018 and also offered to a group of 4e and 3e. Here, it’s tailor-made, with the idea of ​​removing all the brakes to the pleasure of moving, which is complicated to achieve in the context of a PE class with a large number of students, and a strong heterogeneity of levels. “

A healthy sport session with Thomas Cuisset, in October 2021, at Val de Somme college, in Ailly-sur-Somme.

The college has signed an agreement with the French Federation of Weightlifting-Bodybuilding (FFHM), a discipline in which Mr. Cuisset sees many advantages for these children. He also introduces them to Nordic walking. “I use weight lifting for people with back pain, so why not for muscle building in young people with scoliosis? “, justifies the teacher who trained in APA, and collaborates with an orthopedic surgeon. And to insist on the lightness of the lifted loads, much less heavy than a satchel.

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When adapted physical activity comes to college