12 -year -old Ukrainian refugee Nazar was welcomed to Pithiviers Tennis Club

Recruitment, for small sports clubs, takes place rather than the return of September, and it is rare that new players arrive at the time of the summer break. But for this recruiting, the norm does not apply.

The recruiting? Nazar, 12 years. The club? The Tennis club pithivérien. The young tennis player has been in France since the beginning of March, with her mother, Svitlana, and her sister, Sophia, 15.

Sidération, puis decisions

Before? They were in Kiev. They are Ukrainians. When one says “before”, it is before February 24, and the invasion of the country by the Russian army. Nazar was far from imagining that his spring would be written slipping on pithivian rocky ground, thousands of kilometers from his home. “The world before”, this is an expression that takes all its meaning for the small family.

In English, Svitlana – who like her children has been learning French little by little for three months – tells of these days of fear. And before fear, obedience.

“When my husband told me ‘it’s war’, we didn’t want to believe it. We started calling each other, between friends, between acquaintances, we were all shocked, we didn’t know what to do.”

My cousins ​​in France invited me to come. We talked with my husband, and we decided it was better that I share, with the two children, the most important thing was that they stay safe. “

A historical past …

Here, history proves that she sometimes likes to give. This French part of Svitlana’s family has just arrived of a sister of her grandmother, who had been Ukraine, already for a conflict, the Second World War.

The journey to these long -distance French roots finally began on March 2.

“It was terrible, there was a lot of people in the wagon, we were left with seven hours to get up, unable to breathe.”

Then there was a bus, all the way to Poland. In Warsaw, one of his French cousins ​​came looking for Svitlana, Sophia and Nazar.

The trio stayed in Vrigny first, a few kilometers from Pithiviers, to a cousin. “She helped us a lot, while it was difficult for her, she did everything for us,” said Svitlana, now living in Pithiviers. She didn’t have enough words of thanks for all those who on the way to the Loiret gave her family a slap in the face.. Associate volunteers in Poland, to those of the Pithiviers tennis club.

Sometimes a feeling of guilt sets in.

“We could have come to think that something had gone wrong. Here we have everything, the food, the help, a house, the security, while it’s down there … But I don’t want to not that my children have this feeling, I tell them they have to be strong, think about the future “

An eye always turned to the situation in Ukraine, so he had to find the path to this future. Svitlana found a job, in a plastic packaging company. Far from his original profession – teaching – then “the first few days were tough, but there it is, I have to be a pro”, she smiled. The two children, themselves, were welcomed at Simone-Veil College. She will be the age to enter high school in September.

War in Ukraine: justice takes part in the conflict

A very sporty young man

A Ukrainian friend, who also came to France (Nantes) to fight the war, could join Svitlana soon. “She is part of Ukraine mainly because her daughter is diabetic, after two weeks of war she has no more medicine.”

And always in this idea of ​​taking the course (the short, rather, in this case) of a serious life, Nazar comes, therefore, since last month taping the ball. The Pithiviers Tennis Club has opened its doors wide, its rackets. Nazar continued a childhood already well filled with athletic experiences : tennis, already, when he was all young, then diving, and MMA (ibuhos mixed martial arts, a combat sport involving wrestling and pugilat).

There is no doubt that the training, under the watchful eye of his coach Thomas, Nazar does things well.

Dimitri Crozet


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