It’s like I was born to do this. From a young age, Jérôme Humbert had two passions: table tennis and a taste for coaching. “I started playing table tennis at the age of eight, with my father, who worked with children with difficulties and set up a club. I have been competing since I was 10 years old and I have never stopped since then, ”says the one who joined the Déodatie at the age of 14 after leaving the Bruche valley. Both for the choice of sport.
His attraction to broadcasting didn’t come long after that: “Around the age of 15/16, I loved giving advice to my teammates, sharing something with them.” Not “great coaching” as the interested party points out, but that will lead him to pass the state title after high school. “I was passionate about sports, especially table tennis, so it almost made sense,” he explains.
The human component as a leitmotif
Jérôme Humbert is known in the Vosges for his role as coach at ASRTT Etival. But what has made him live the last twelve years is above all the world of sports for the disabled. “For a long time I was hired by the French Table Tennis Federation. First I was in charge of the French wheelchair team from 2005 to 2008, then I was general manager of the French team of sports for the disabled from 2009 to 2017 “, explains the native Alsatian.
Today, he is not only in charge of table tennis, but has a management mission – “especially with the staff of the French teams” – in other opposition sports, such as fencing. . And if he has never lost his passion for coaching, he is convinced, “it’s about my father first but also about the encounters I was able to make, like the one with a table tennis player in a wheelchair in the year 2000.”
Therefore, fatigue is not part of your daily life. He is even encouraged by certain facets of the profession, as he points out: “What guides me is the management of the human aspect in sport. But there is another thing that I have discovered year after year, is that high-level sport makes me vibrate ”.
“I’m glad to say that girls bring me a lot”
If the fact that he was able to “participate” in three editions of the Paralympic Games (Beijing-2008, London-2012 and Rio-2016) fulfilled him at this level, the role he plays in the ASRTT Etival also fits him perfectly. Because in the small town of the Vosges, Jérôme Humbert is in contact with players who often shine on the international scene: I take the example of Jieni (Shao) and Hana (Matelova), who have two Olympics each on the clock. They have a different culture and a real background, so it allows us to learn together, he explains before emphasizing another positive aspect of this task: coaching these girls also means sharing things with their other coaches, because we have different missions, ”he said. add.
The Vosges coach is therefore “happy to say” that the players he knows contribute a lot. “In return, I try to play a role in facilitating and accompanying the performance,” said Captain Stivalien. A work that Jérôme Humbert seems far from abandoning, passion compels.