FRANCE – 16 years of the Aubevoye Tournament
In June 1994, three years after the first official French Powerchair Football championship, an able-bodied French football coach decided to organize a very original tournament ! Dominique Scelles, boss of a company selling medical equipment, had the idea to organize a friendly match of able-bodied and disabled footballers.
The idea is simple but still he had to think about it carefully! The tournament involves teams for both players on their feet and players in electric wheelchair. The first period is played between two half-teams of able-bodied players. At half time, players in wheelchairs take over from one of the half-teams, retaining the score of those they replaced. It sometimes happens that a team in chairs improve on the score of the teammates they replaced … or and vice versa!
This clever idea generates a fantastic atmosphere! The friendly tournament also brings together clubs involved in championships at different levels. It is not uncommon to see teams consisting of players from several different cities such as Marseille and Paris! Only Powerchair Football can bring about such teams from two rival cities!
This small town in the department of Eure, (60 km west of Paris), therefore, welcomes the oldest Powerchair football tournament on the planet!
AUBEVOYE was also the scene of the first steps of Portuguese Powerchair. It is indeed here that José PARREIRAL, a Francophile Portuguese occupational therapist, discovered French Powerchair Football when he met Hervé DELATTRE, then national director of the sport in France. So thanks to AUBEVOYE France exported the game to Portugal. The tournament was also the scene of many Franco-Belgian meetings.
The French Powerchair Football Federation, led by Franck CROULLIERE, took advantage of this year’s tournament to organize the first training session of the French under-nineteen team. A real sports academy destined to train future French first team players, these young people there will probably be at the 2015 World Cup!