Toulouse: The sports hall under the Coubertin Bridge

Play sports at all costs. Despite the health crisis that forced the 130 sports halls of Toulouse to “temporarily” pull back the curtain, thousands of Toulouse are hungry. For more than six months they have been dozens of experienced or occasional athletes from all social categories and from different parts of the city (Zentrum, Mirail, Empalot) who come and wet their jerseys. At the foot of the stadium, on Sunday afternoon, sheltered from bad weather, under the Pierre de Coubertin bridge, the shade of which almost completely covers this outdoor and authorized sports hall. “A free zone for the practice of sport,” they say to Toulouse City Hall. Just a stone’s throw away, the Castex pool welcomes its share of Sunday swimmers.

The program includes football, basketball, inline skating, running and cardio training with the coach of Boxoum, a boxing hall that was founded in the Rue de Papus by the runner-up Olympic champion Sofiane Oumiha. The material is not lacking. Sometimes ropes are stretched and punching bags are installed in this improvised sports room.

The Gatuso sequence

Like every Sunday afternoon, children, young people, students in their forties and even more gather around the presentation of the sequence by Gatuso, boxing trainer in Boxoum and corporal master of the 1st Parachute Hussar Regiment (RHP) of Tarbes (65). “We propose to members who do not box specifically to form teams, but more military. We are in a context of a sports facility that allows barrier gestures to be respected. We are not limited to the number and at the same time it is free. he explains. In Toulouse all the rooms have been closed for a year. We have tried to offer sessions in this place with the bridge that can protect us from rain. “At every session, Gatuso assures, athletes come from all walks of life. “It’s cosmopolitan, on a social level there are doctors, masons, there is a mixture of respect for everyone. We have not been able to train in our room at Papus for a year, we have decided to do our sessions outside. We are inside a sports complex [le Stadium et la piscine d’hiver Castex, NDLR]We occupy the existing. People really need to decompress. Some in great psychological distress came to register “.

In the spring with the fine days, the clubs should, to say the least, leave this place and move to an outdoor soccer field to welcome those Sunday athletes who take their session to heart.