For French Para-Badminton player Fabien Morat the European Para Championships in Rotterdam are very special as it will be his last competition before he retires. He has been representing France in international competitions since 2017, and participated in two World Championships.
The French team and staff were the loudest in the badminton hall during his third singles game this afternoon and their affectionate encouragements “Allez Papi!” (“Come on grandpa!” in French, although Fabien will only be turning 42 at the end of the week) helped him in a tight game against Djordje Koprivica from Serbia.
About the support from his team mates Fabien says “it is incredible, it gives you that extra energy and makes you feel younger again.” And sure enough, when he won in the third set (21-16, 13-21, 21-17), the whole team rose to their feet and cheered him even louder!
Fabien’s goal is to enjoy every moment here in Rotterdam and also support the two younger French players in his category, Men’s SH6. “One of them has already overtaken me, and the other is gently pushing me towards the exit! I have been watching them improve for the last two years and I am very happy to pass the baton to them.”
About the European Para Championships, Fabien praises the organisation and volunteers and the amazing sports facilities. He enjoyed discovering other sports, went to watch Para-Taekwondo and hopes to catch some Para-Cycling and Para-Archery if he has time.
Although he will be retiring from his competitive career, Fabien will stay involved in the sport and aims at passing the levels to become an international referee. He wants to break down barriers and show that people with disabilities can also take part as officials. His message to everyone: “Get active and play sports!”