At 18, Thomas Le Pape spends his life between the swimming pools and the lecture halls at UniLaSalle Amiens. A French swimming hopeful, he benefits from a schedule that allows him to reconcile high-level sport and studies. Portrait.
Thomas, student and high level athlete
- Name : Thomas Le Pape
- Age : 18 years old
- Student at UniLaSalle Amiens and high level athlete
- Particularity : has been swimming since he was 4 years old
- Club : Amiens Métropole Natation since 3 years, after having been trained in Dieppe
How do you manage your time between student life and sports life?
Students often ask me about my life on the side: how much training do you do, is it hard in everyday life?
I train 10 times a week, including 3 strength training sessions, which represents 25 hours of training per week. It's a heavy load next to studying, but the body gets used to it, it's a way of life that we take, a habit, we get up every morning at 6am, we go to the water at 7am-9am. Then we go to class, then we come back at 16:00-18:30 for the second training of the day.
Then we come back at home, we work, we make the homework, we revise the controls and we go to bed rather early: 21:00, 21:30, we don't party too much and then, hop it starts again!
Do you want to continue next year?
Yes, and even until Paris 2024, this year my goal is to qualify for the Mediterranean Games in Algeria (mini Olympic Games of Mediterranean countries) to qualify for the Olympics.
Are you in a team?
Yes, we are a team of 9 swimmers, including 2 who went to the Tokyo Olympics, Enzo Tesic and Mewen Tomac, and 7 other swimmers like me, who also have a student life on the side; there are some in business school, others in the final year of high school, others wish to continue in swimming...
What are your next projects in swimming?
Next week I will compete in the French Elite Championships in Limoges. I will try to qualify for the Mediterranean Games which will take place at the end of June, beginning of July in Oran, Algeria. It is a very important competition for us, the club, for all the swimmers of France, and the most important competition of the year, where all the qualifications for the world championships, European swimming championships or even the selections of the French team will take place.
We find there all the best swimmers of France, all categories and specialities.
What is your specialty?
My specialty is the 4 strokes and the breaststroke, 100m /200m breaststroke and 200/400m 4 strokes. The 4 strokes are butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and the crawl, freestyle.
I have a rather enduring profile, especially in the 400m/4 strokes, I am among the 8 best French swimmers in all categories. Last year I was also triple French champion in the 100/200m breaststroke and 400m medley in the small pool, and French junior champion in the 100m breaststroke in the large pool.
Why Amiens and UniLaSalle Amiens?
I decided to go to Amiens in the first year to have a better level, to integrate a better high level group.
It was the closest club to my home, many swimmers come out with a good level, the support for athletes is very good: a good mental and physical preparation, a dietetic follow-up, osteo and physio.
I chose UniLaSalle Amiens because I discovered that I liked electronics and scientific subjects. There is a sports-study program, which allows me to combine sports and studies thanks to a schedule adjustment. I also have a follow-up of the courses thanks to a student-tutor, who sends me the courses every day via our tablets.