When football and pediatrics meet


The Premiers de Cordée association has traveled through France to visit children in pediatric services. Reportage in a hospital in Lille.

Lille (North)

From our correspondent

Tired but happy. Mohamed Amine, 9, spent countless hours with other children hospitalized in Jeanne-de-Flandre (CHU Lille), under the tender and happy gaze of his mother, Fatima: As soon as there is an animation, he grants the contents of his heart, allows him to escape a little, to forget the disease. " With a dozen other children from different departments, the boy, who was hospitalized for two weeks, benefited from this kick-off initiated by the Premiers de Cordée association and from positive football, a movement of the National Union of professional footballers (1). "This is the first national sports tour" says Julie Garcia, Project Leader for Cordée Premiers (read the keys of the topic on page 24). "But we hope that there will be more, because we want to develop the association in the regions.The goal is always the same: to allow a maximum number of sick children to benefit from the benefits of sport."

In Lille, the seventh stop on the tour, fifteen children arrived in the early afternoon dropper in the Children's House, the animation room for the pediatric service used for exceptional entertainment. Virginie, sports educator of the Premiers de Cordée association, marked the space and prepared the program: first of all small steps, by hand or on foot, that present themselves and call their neighbor, the story to get to know each other before welcoming the guest of the day, Grégory Wimbée, former goalkeeper of the Lille Olympic Sporting Club (Losc), who now trains the reserve goalkeepers.

Despite its ninety-three meter, it has no problem to rise to the height of its young members of the day. Accustomed to the hospital, due to a chronic illness, Pierre, 12, hoped instead to see Kylian Mbappé, one of the godparents of the association (with Nathalie Péchalat, Thierry Omeyer, Maxime Médard and Stéphane Houdet …) , or one of the current Losc players: "We have to excuse them, emphasizes Grégory Wimbée, they were traveling last night – in Nice, where they lost 2-0 – and they have not come home yet! " A calendar that did not fit well for this long-time appointment, but it does not matter, the young patients are there to have fun and forget about their illness temporarily.

"We take care of children from a few months to 18 years" explains Isabelle Cacheux, educator of children in general pediatrics (gastronutrition, pneumology and temporary hospitalization …). "They have various pathologies, mild or heavy, sometimes they suffer from chronic diseases.This afternoon, we came with four children, for a service of 40 beds, continues the one who has worked here for four years and particularly loves to practice his profession in the hospital. "Everyone can not participate because they need a medical license that depends on their state of health, their care program … "

For these educators who are with children from 8:00 to 17:00, these exceptional animations are a real possibility. "We organize many activities around pastry, decoration or games

company, and from one to several times a week, we bring external speakers, especially for sports activities »says Corine Baillieul, educator in neuropediatrics and a member of the animation committee of Jeanne-de-Flandre.

"I remember another moment that Mohamed Amine liked a lot: a nice party with the Dunkirk Carnival volunteers", remembers his mother Fatima. Two or three hours of animation are both short and intense; today, Grégory Wimbée plays the game in depth: she dribbles, encourages, pushes the chairs, takes a position in the huge inflatable door proposed by the association, discusses with the children … If she does not she does not lose her hand, he will know why, the former Losc goalkeeper casts many goals today: probably because he has faced children who kick … or the hand for those who, like Mohamed Amine or Melyssa, are in a wheelchair. Speed ​​radar confirms it: shots merge!

Twelve-year-old Melyssa, who suffers from glass bones, is happy to be here to change her mind and has taken the opportunity to come with her little sister, Klara, a true football fan who does not hesitate to align her with her. , a goal alongside Grégory Wimbée, under the slogan of the association: "Sport as a sharing dynamic"… and as a therapeutic activity, we could add.

Maxence, 6, is full of energy and volunteers for every sport challenge launched by Virginie. I liked Mohamed Amine, who practices basketball with a wheelchair at school "Target shooting!" So when will the next animation be around the basket? "We have had some, but we can expect a new one, especially because we would like to extend this partnership with Premiers de Cordée and that the association is a partner of many French sports federations"Corine answers, who manages the requests and proposals of the associations, looking for "What's out of the ordinary".

Another idea put forward by a mother: to plan for the children to exit at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium during a Losc match. If the state of health of the children allows it, "It's entirely possible"says Grégory Wimbée, as he signs the "diplomas of the little athlete" given to each child. From 4:00 pm, Virginie calms the children by launching more relaxed games and a small massage session with foam balls. So, the organizers give the final whistle. Phew, the infusions have held, and no incident is to be deplored! Now we have to say goodbye and go back to the rooms. I await the next surprise invented by Corine and the other members of the animation committee of the hospital.

Fanny Magdelaine


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