Fifty Fifty, the association that helps women victims of violence to rebuild themselves through cycling

It is a figure that leaves you speechless. In 2019, more than 142,000 people were victims of domestic violence, including nearly 126,000 women. A figure up 16% compared to 2018, according to a report from the police and gendarmerie services unveiled by the Ministry of the Interior on November 18. To support these women who have gone through hell, more and more associations are launching programs to help them reclaim their bodies and rebuild themselves. This is the case of the Fifty Fifty association. This young structure, founded two years ago by Nathalie Grubac and Christian Douhing, is part of this logic and wishes to support these women victims of all types of violence in the “after”. “These women have gone through difficult and dramatic times. It is not normal that these numbers are so high. We, our message is to say that we can still do great things, that we can recover from such an ordeal and work on resilience “, explains the co-founder of the association.

Through three sports, skiing, sailing and cycling, the association, which hopes to start its first project early next year (delayed due to covid-19, editor’s note), has devised programs to help women, sometimes with their children, to rebuild themselves. And these disciplines were not chosen by chance by the co-founders. “They all embody a feeling of freedom, and above all we can reclaim them alone. For sailing, it is certainly more complex, but it gives other sensations, launches more challenges and will take you out to sea. With sport, we empty our heads ”, exalted Nathalie Grubac, 48-year-old PE teacher, living in Villars-de-Lans (Isère).

Crowdfunding to launch the adventure

On October 26, Fifty Fifty therefore launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds in order to carry out their first bicycle reconstruction program. About 10 days before the end of the fundraising campaign, Fifty Fifty has already raised more than 3,500 euros. An already substantial but insufficient envelope for the co-founder. “With € 2,500 we can support the participation of a woman in our program, which is already a first victory. But my goal is to raise the 10,000 € so that four women can benefit ”, insists Nathalie Grubac, who immersed herself body and soul in this project, she who reduced her professional activity by half to embark 100% on this adventure in which she believes “deeply“.

These women will thus be followed and guided for six months by high-level athletes. Doctors and psychologists will also be at their side. “The goal for them is to be ready to participate in the Vélo vert festival (large gathering of mountain bikers to take place next June, editor’s note) and become aware of the work they will have accomplished ”, indicates Nathalie Grubac. These four women chosen to participate in this program will be selected by the associations to which they belong, in association with Fifty Fifty. “There are already more requests than places”, notes the co-founder of the association.

“Our mission is for them to reconnect with their bodies, get back into motion, rediscover their abilities and realize that they can do things they never thought they could do before. The goal is for them to do things. set goals and achieve them and then see how far they have come ”, add Isabeau Coudurier, vice-world champion Enduro World Series (MTB) in 2016, 2017, 2018 and world champion in 2019.

More than sponsor of the association, Isabeau Coudurier, like the other sportsmen involved in Fifty Fifty, like the mountain biker Kevin miquel and the Olympic downhill skiing champion Carole Montillet, supervise and concretely support these women during monthly meetings. “I will give them the basics of cycling, the right gestures to adopt so that they can practice safely and they will also learn the technique. They will also have a program to follow in parallel so that they can work independently. I will accompany them from the first outings to the Vélo vert festival ”, details the MTB enduro champion, who has always wanted to engage in a program of reconstruction through sport and who wanted to share everything that “The bike could [lui] to bring”.

Sport, a tool for reconstruction

Sport is increasingly recognized for its benefits and assets in rebuilding a damaged body and mind. “The body is plastic. He has the capacity to rebuild himself. Sport carries values ​​essential to the development and well-being of each individual. And very often, we experience great things through sport, because we are stronger together ”, continues Nathalie Grubac.

Carole Montillet, Olympic downhill champion, during a hike on the Vélo Vert festival to benefit the fight against violence

© Fifty fifty

And the co-founder of the association has already experienced it. Before launching Fifty Fifty, she had already had in mind for a long time to promote the action of associations committed against violence against women. “One day, at the Vélo vert festival, I organized a women’s bike race where the registration fees were donated to an association. The route was quite simple because I wanted as many women of all ages to be able to participate ”, she recounts.

“At the end of the race, a somewhat elderly woman whom I knew through an association, who was very reserved and withdrawn, finished the race in tears. I worried to see her in this state, thinking that running was the source of the crying. But she freed her word. She explained to me that she had been the victim of violence, that she had suffered the blows of her husband and that through this 15 km race, she had just mended her story. That day, I understood that I had to go through sport to rebuild ”, entrusts Nathalie Grubac.

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“The bodies of these women have been damaged in many ways, both physically and physiologically. Often, these are bodies that have been folded in on themselves ”

“Repair” is the objective of the association. “The bodies of these women have been damaged in many ways, both physically and physiologically. Often, these are bodies that have been folded in on themselves. Through this program, the goal is that they can gradually get back into motion and find pleasant sensations, or in any case that oppose the sensation of the body that made them suffer ”, explains the PE teacher. The women will gradually increase in capacity and will pass both physical and psychological levels. “Maybe we will see women, who have never done sport, flourish in a race of several km”, hopes Nathalie Grubac. And who, once back in the saddle, will be able to navigate to other horizons.

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