Meeting with Tony Gomes, president and player of Lyon Métropole Handchair, to talk about the specificities of this discipline and what exists in terms of handchairs.
do you know how to introduce yourself?
I am Tony Gomes, president and player of Lyon Métropole Handfauteuil, where we mainly do Handchair.
What is the handchair?
The handchair is the practice of handball but in a situation of handicap, that is to say in a manual wheelchair. Any player who participates is in a sports wheelchair. The discipline is open to both disabled and able-bodied people. She is mixed. You can come and play from 10 years old but there is no age limit. New, we even met a 78-year-old player!
With what type of handicap can we practice it?
The handchair is intended above all for disabilities engines, but it all depends on the disability. It is generally necessary to have both arms functional, even if adjustments are possible. Despite everything, you still have to be able to be quite mobile with your arms.
What are the differences with valid handball?
Fr handchair, we play five on the field, plus a goalkeeper, instead of six. Otherwise, there are no real differences, except that we are talking about wheel thrust and not pitch. It’s three wheel pushes, dribble, three wheel pushes, and then we have to make a pass. Afterwards, all the rules are the same, whether it’s forced passage, contact, etc.
What are the benefits and skills that can be mobilized in a wheelchair?
There is the mental benefit, that of having a good vision of the game, always going further… There is also the whole upper body which works a lot, whether it is the arms, the abdominals, it also allows us to be a bit more flexible. In terms of arm strength, everything also depends on the terrain. If it’s parquet, it will slip, if it’s taraflex, it’s more difficult.
A lot of able-bodied people, like injured handball players who can’t practice standing up because they’ve injured their ligaments or something like that, come with us. The first chose who hits them is that it’s way more physical in the arms and they come out of practice saying they’ll be sore all over the place the next day.