Read the story of disabled swimmer Léandre Boyer and his partnership with NABAIJI | DECATHLON.

In early 2023, the team of swimmers doing lengths sporting the colours of NABAIJI | DECATHLON grew. Léandre Boyer, hemiplegic following a stroke, joined our ranks with one goal in mind: to compete in the 2028 Paralympic Games.

We are proud of our new partnership with a swimmer as promising as Léandre and we are excited to be writing the next chapter together. From now until 2028, our design teams will support Léandre with his training to help him to achieve his personal sporting goals.

We went to meet Léandre and his family so that we could share his story with you…


Léandre, can you tell us how you became hemiplegic?

Léandre: “On 12 March 2020, I was 10 years old, and during football training I received two blows to the head. After the second impact, I immediately got a massive headache. I suffered a stroke and my entire right side froze from head to toe; I collapsed on the ground. I was then in hospital for three months followed by a month and a half in a wheelchair.

As a result of this stroke, the whole right side of my body was paralysed.”

What got you into swimming?

Léandre: “Sport has always been a big part of my life. So, following my accident, after rehabilitation, I had to get back into sport. I had previously been a football player but with my hemiplegia, it wasn't easy to go back to playing football at the same level.

In all honesty, I never really had a chance to ask myself which sport I should turn to. It just happened naturally, straight away people said that I should give swimming a go. I already liked the water before my accident, but I mostly just liked messing around in the water! I was not a competitive swimmer. It took a bit of getting used to at first, but I quickly got the hang of it.”

Léandre's father, Jérôme, explains that swimming was the gateway to getting his son moving again and reconnecting with sport. The aquatic environment, reputed for its many benefits for the body, is also widely used in rehabilitation. This made swimming the perfect sport for Léandre.



After your accident, what was your relationship with the water?

Léandre: “Water was the element that allowed me to relearn how to move my body.

I learned to love the water differently and, more importantly, learned to move differently in the water. I am in my element in the water. When I am immersed, I no longer feel like I have my disability.

What I love about being in a swimming pool is hearing the sound of people swimming. It relaxes me, it calms me down. The water soothes my body and my mind.”

What do you like about swimming?

Léandre: “When you're swimming, you're competing with yourself. You're not part of a group or a team. It's just you and the water. That challenge is what I love about it. I'm always trying to outdo myself, to beat my own times, to rethink how I train to improve my performance.”


What are the main physical limitations you have to overcome?

Léandre: “In terms of my upper body, I can't open my right hand or move my fingers. So it is impossible for me to put hand paddles on. Propulsion is completely different.

When it comes to my lower body, I can only do the undulating motion with one leg. I also have to adapt my kicks as I can't do regular kicks with my right leg.”


Léandre's father tells us that after seeing him swim, the president of the disability sports club said to him: “You're gonna make it to the Olympics!”. Léandre's reaction was initially astonishment. With glistening eyes, he turned to his parents and asked them: “Did he really just say that?”. Yes, he really just said that. It only took Léandre a few seconds to say: “OK, I'll make it to the games”. Léandre has a competitive spirit. The challenge was set.

Léandre, what does a typical week in your life look like?

Léandre: “I train one to two hours a day, in the evening after school. I do six training sessions per week: five swimming and one GPP (general physical preparedness).

Sport does not encroach on school; all my training sessions are scheduled outside of my school timetable. I'm a year ahead. It's important for me to keep up with my studies and to maintain a balance between sport and school. Besides, I already know what I want to do later: I want to be a neurologist.”

What's your relationship like with other athletes with disabilities?

Jérôme (Léandre's dad): “There's a real bond that's created between elite athletes with disabilities. For us, it's like a breath of fresh air, it inspires us. There's something almost fraternal about it. Each athlete has their own disability and is therefore different in their own way. In this regard, it's difficult to compare yourself with others, and this is what creates a real bond between the athletes.

Everyone knows how difficult it is to train because the conventional training method is not possible. So you have to reinvent yourself every day and find ways to work out differently. It's all about continuous improvement and innovation. We're exploring worlds that have never been explored before! The idea is to come up with the most efficient solution for every situation we face to get the best out of his performance.”


What are the next steps on the road to the Paralympic Games?

➡️ French Championships, from 26 to 28 May 2023 in Limoges

Jérôme (Léandre's dad): “We are in a phase of progression, Léandre will compete in the junior category (13-16 years old), so he is at the very beginning of this category. The aim is therefore to beat as many young athletes as possible and to continue to improve his times.

Happy coincidence: the world para swimming championships are being held at the same time and in the same place! This will give us a chance to get a feel for what an international competition is like.”

➡️ European Championships

Jérôme (Léandre's dad): “It's hard to say for sure at this point, but we hope that Léandre will be able to compete in his first European Championships in two years' time.”


Each year, Léandre will receive a full set of NABAIJI branded kit. Competition suits, swimwear, equipment, accessories, and so on. He will use his kit for training and competitions. Then, he will give us his feedback: what he likes, what he doesn't like and what could be improved. The aim? To work together in a process of continuous improvement: that of Léandre as well as that of our products!

For our design teams, receiving feedback from a high-level para swimmer allows us to explore new playing fields by stimulating our creativity and our sense of innovation.

Léandre, which NABAIJI | DECATHLON products do you already use?

Léandre: “Pretty much everything! Swim caps, swimwear, jammer, but also microfibre towels, hand paddles, pullbuoy, fins and even the bag that I carry everything in. The only thing I don't currently use are swimming goggles.”

What do you want to get out of this partnership with NABAIJI | DECATHLON?

Léandre: “What is interesting is writing this next chapter together. Honestly, we don't know what the outcome will be, but we have set ourselves a goal. And this goal is what motivates us on a daily basis. We know why we get up each day, what we are working towards, it's like a roadmap. We don't know how this adventure will pan out, but we are heading there together.

Our aim was to find a partner who would be there from the beginning of the story. We weren't interested in finding a partner who would only be present on the day we took part in the Olympics. What we want is to write the story of Léandre, together. And it starts now.”

Trust, individuality and continuous improvement are the key words of this collaboration between NABAIJI | DECATHLON and Léandre Boyer.

Tomorrow's story is written today, which is why we are proud to be able to support a disabled athlete like Léandre in his progress and in making his dreams reality.



Untrucdemalade is a charity set up by Léandre's family, which aims to encourage people with disabilities to get (back) into sport. The goal? To give others a helping hand to achieve their dreams, by financing equipment, races, challenges, courses, championships, and more.
Untrucdemalade has a single aim: to support and promote sport as a driver of progress and inclusion!

To support the project, visit !