Table tennis: 240 players from 33 countries competed at the National Velodrome in a sports tournament for the disabled

The National Velodrome has been gradually recovering its sports program since the closure of the vaccination center on 25 February. Accustomed to opening up to sports other than track cycling, the future Olympic and Paralympic venue was transformed from 5 to 8 May into a redoubt of table tennis. The French Open SQY para tt, an international sports tournament for people with disabilities that qualifies for the world championships, was hosted. It was SQY Ping, a club from Saint-Quentin, who was again in charge of the organization, six months after having organized a tournament of the same type, in November 2021 in Voisins-le-Bretonneux.

“We had to do the tournament here, and with the vaccinodrome, we had to move to Voisins. We didn’t think we’d make it to such a fast-paced tournament again, but we’re very excited to have the opportunity to do it again, at the velodrome, and more. […] one of the five most important tournaments on the international circuit, ”said Joffrey Nizan, technical director of SQY Ping and director of the tournament.

Among the SQY Ping players, members of the French delegation, Yorick Adjal and Alan Papirer, of the SQY Ping, won the bronze medal.

He added that it was necessary, “in less than six months, to open a new tournament”. But the experience of the November tournament served. “We left thinking that we had gained a lot of experience in the construction of the first tournament, and therefore that the second would take us less time, and we also knew that the French Handisport Federation (FFH) was going to make workers. available for event construction, says Joffrey Nizan. We were no longer alone, and we could rely on many things, which is why we left with so little time to prepare for the tournament. »

25 people from SQY Ping and ten FFH employees took part in the organization. The club also received help with funding. The provisional budget of 800,000 euros (compared to 480,000 euros in last November’s tournament) is shared between the FFH and SQY Ping, which has obtained grants from SQY and the Department and is awaiting a response from the Region. , and has started a search. by private sponsorship. The Saint-Quentin club also charges a package of 1,000 euros per player to the participating delegations.

A package, especially because many aspects are taken into account in tournaments of this magnitude, which the club has also learned to manage through these two SQY para tt open in France. “The national tournaments we do, we do not manage the transport, the accommodation, we only manage the room,” said the technical director. There, in international tournaments, we have to manage the relations with the international federations for the registrations, for the payments, the transport from the airports to the hotel, the transports from the hotel to the gym, the catering everywhere, so we had to really learn about these areas. »

Mostly because a total of about 400 people (coaches, players, staff, etc.) gathered, including 240 players from 33 countries, twice as many as the Neighbors tournament in November. The French delegation consisted of 37 people, including coaches and players. Among them are five SQY Ping players, including Lucie Hautiere, who won a bronze medal in singles and one in women’s doubles, and Yorick Adjal and Alan Papirer, also on the 3rd step of the podium, in men’s doubles. Thus, the SQY Ping actively participated in the tricolor harvest, from 15 to 20 medals, during the four days of competition and about 1,200 games played, in 22 handicap categories (11 male and 11 female).

Four rich days and a great success for SQY Ping, therefore, on two fronts: sports and organizational. “She is OK. We had the visit of the vice president of the international federation. He almost doesn’t come, so if he comes it’s because he wanted to see how things were going. We also had a visit from the Cojo de Paris 2024 to see how things were going. We tried to put quality on the velodrome, ”says Joffrey Nizan, adding that there were also people, with 200 people a day who had bought a ticket before the start of the tournament, not counting sales on the same day. If he acknowledges that there are “things to improve”, the technical director announces that, with these two SQY organizations open to the French, SQY Ping wants to apply for the organization of the European Table Tennis Handisport Championship in November. 2023.

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