The para powerlifting room in the Michel Vautrot sports complex is one of the only ones in France to be configured with this discipline in mind. Designed with the help of Alexis Quérou, France’s national para powerlifting coach, it was completely refurbished in 2021.
It is also used by non-disabled top-level athletes on a regular basis. It is divided into three areas – weightlifting platforms, weights area, cardio-training area – and includes a 40 x 20 m sports hall as well as a multi-purpose room, which can be used for briefings, physiotherapy, or mental preparation.
The above areas are, in turn, further divided into specific areas, based on an optimal strength, cardio, and dynamic training logic. The apparatus and equipment are of the highest quality and perfectly adapted to athletes’ requirements. All the equipment is adjustable according to needs. After training sessions, the weightlifters can relax and recover fully thanks to the on-site sauna and ice baths.
David Hercule Matam and his brother Bernardin both trained at this location when preparing for major international competitions. It also hosted the 2015 French inter-club championships.
Spread over several acres, the Michel Vautrot sports complex is the largest in Besançon. It is located right next to a lovely, quiet, leafy park, which can be used by athletes as a warm up or recovery area, and will give them a feeling of being in the great outdoors. Near to the city centre, it is easy to get to by tram and by car, thanks to a free and secure car park.
One of Besançon’s main priorities is to promote parasports disciplines, and as part of that effort, it has been organising the only event of its kind in France, the Raid Handi-Forts adventure race, since 2008. The parasports project has grown by encouraging sports clubs to set up a parasport section and making sports facilities accessible to people with disabilities. Thanks to all this work, Besançon received the 2016 Parasport City award.