‘Coloso con Pies de Barro’ arrives in Spain, the association that fights against sexual abuse of minors in sport

Juan L. Fernández-Sordo

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In a sport as respectful of tradition as rugby, the third half is sacred. The two teams that have just fought on the field meet to drink beer and relax the clashes that may have been in the game. This is how Argentine Franco Pani met Frenchman Sébastien Boueilh, both professional players. Boueilh told him that in his spare time he devoted himself to telling his story: a childhood marked by sexual abuse.

In 2013, Boueilh founded Colossus with Feet of Clay in France. After having suffered sexual assaults from the age of 12 to 16, she was unable to speak – or report – her attacker until she had to 30. During the trial, her lawyer stressed that, despite its appearance, like a 1.80 m colossus. height and weight 110 kgHis feet were made of clay. From there he took the name to found the association that seeks to raise awareness about this matter and where those affected can tell their story. They also advise various organizations in the eradication of this scourge and train their members to address it correctly. In France, there are already 15 federations that count on your collaboration.

With the support of Jaime Nava

YouAfter their meeting in the third half, he decided to dedicate himself to this work as well. First in Argentina, and now in Spain, where it is currently Alcala Rugby coach. Next Friday 18 Coloso will be presented at the European University of Madrid. They already have two renowned ambassadors: Jaime Nava, former captain of the Spanish rugby team, and Víctor Gutiérrez, water polo player for the national team. In addition, they have the support of 12 more athletes who will be revealed in the presentation.

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The association’s work is oriented towards awareness and prevention of the risks of pedophilia, hazing and harassment in sports organizations. The goal is to end any type of sexual assault: grooming, sexting, harassment, etc. They also offer training courses for the entities’ professionals, aimed at acting in cases of sexual abuse.

“Make suffering visible”

Pani emphasizes the importance of awareness work: “Make suffering visible.” In addition, she notes that Boueilh’s testimony helps other victims to take the step of talking about it, including people who were abused fifty years ago. «It’s like taking two tons of weight off your shoulders», He points out.

Its work seeks to protect children and educators. With its specific training, apart from teaching how to create safe environments, it also serves so that adults do not put themselves in situations that can be misinterpreted, acting according to clear and specific protocols.

The former Argentine player also relates that, originally in France, they encountered certain difficulties. «It was a taboo subject, and many believed that they came to carry out a witch hunt». But, as Pani explains, the goal is not to look back, but to prevent for the future, ensuring the best possible childhood for children.

The organization already has offices in France, Argentina, Guadeloupe, and is now arriving in Spain, to raise awareness, train and provide support to children, their families and educators.

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