Colette at the Rallye des Gazelles to help premature children

Colette Joyeuse, whom the Rochefortais call Coco, is a sportswoman with a big heart. Retired PE teacher, dance teacher, she is embarking on an extraordinary adventure: participating in the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc in 2023.

This rally, which brings together 160 female crews of 60 nationalities, takes place in the south of Morocco and consists of navigating off-road the old fashioned way (without GPS, just a map and a compass).

“The winning crew is the one who does the fewest kilometres, it’s not a speed race”, Colette explains. The values ​​of mutual aid, solidarity and environmental respect are essential for the Cœur de Gazelles association, which has existed for more than twenty years. The objective of this association is to financially help a chosen action in a medical, social, educational, environmental field…

Coco Joyeuse thus joined Christel Pezzotta, a very close friend of Montélimar, who considered this adventure following the birth of Esmée and Scarlett-Rose, her granddaughters born a little over two years ago five months of pregnancy. Little Esme couldn’t survive but Scarlett-Rose, “little warrior” as her grandmother calls her, is going as well as possible and it is for her granddaughters that Christel wanted to take on this somewhat crazy gamble.

Today, Christel and Colette, both grandmothers, explain: “Because we are so proud of our little warriors, we had to find the adventure and self-transcendence that would match their fight and that of the caregivers”.

Looking for sponsors

They have to find sponsors, the financing is important because the participation costs nearly 45,000 € to this duo. When they return from the rally, they will resell the vehicle, the clothing, the equipment… And the sum will be donated to the national and departmental associations of the Drôme and Gard which deal with very prematurity.

In the meantime, the adventurers have made quite drastic fitness programs. “I also have to get used to sleeping on the floor, with a slightly weakened back”, smiles Coco who walks, runs and does her dance lessons to keep in shape. Christel, for her part, walks, runs and above all does mountain biking. Both have completed the compulsory driving, mechanics and orienteering courses. But Colette recalls: “We are pre-registered because the validation will only take place on the day when we have been able to pay for our registration”.

Various actions will be organized by the two women and an online pot should be able to help them carry out this beautiful project which will help all “little warriors and warriors” born too early.



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