Sports clubs and associations have returned to school desks. Apart from physical effort, sport is a vector of social connection, escape and well-being. For those who are still hesitating between this or that activity or simply stepping through the doors of the club, here are the words of female athletes who represent their path and look back on what playing sports brings them, the feelings and memories it creates. Note that the city of Boulogne-sur-Mer, with the Tous en Club system, can help you finance the licence. met…
Three young women, three licensed athletes in handball, canoeing and wrestling, talk about their activities and unforgettable memories.
“My name is Elisa Villard. I am 14 years old and in the 3rd grade. I have been a member of the Boulonnaise Handball Association (ABH) for 2 years, and before that I trained in karate.
I chose handball because I was looking for a team sport because I wanted to feel the team spirit and the spirit of camaraderie. Handball allows me to let loose every day, to laugh with my friends. It relaxes me after a day at school. I really do what I love! I have 2 training sessions a week at the Chemin Vert sports hall, and the matches are played on weekends.
As far as equality is concerned, there are fewer of us than boys. There is no team my age in the club, so I play in U18 with girls older than me. In addition, there are fewer girls’ teams in the Department, so we often meet the same teams, and the trips are further away.
My fondest memory as an athlete is when I was invited to the board team to represent Pas-de-Calais. »
“My name is Anaëlle Scotté and I am 18 years old. I go to architecture school in Rouen or STAPS in Arras. Due to logistical training reasons, I am thinking about choosing Arras. My national coach is at the St Laurent club and it will be easier for me to train. In Rouen in the winter there are a lot of waves on the Seine and you have to train with a vest. Besides, the club is not always open so I don’t know if I could train as I would like.
I have been a member of Boulogne Canoë Kayak (BCK) for 7 years. I have always been involved in sports, be it football, dancing or climbing. I decided on BCK thanks to my father, who was in the kayaking club and whom I followed regularly. Canoeing brings balance to my life. He gave me a very good mentality, a lot of autonomy. I also have the opportunity to travel a lot because of international competitions. I train every day. That’s between 10 and 12 hours of canoeing per week. But I manage 20 hours of sports a week with cardio training, weight training, etc.
I believe that in my sport there is no equality between men and women. There is no female coach in the French team, we are looked after by a male coach. If you look at the communications of the alliance, a lot of men are prominent. Another example that may seem anecdotal: during my last selection, the men got shorts, a t-shirt, and a tank top, while we didn’t get a t-shirt, and we don’t know why.
My fondest memory happens during every race, when I cross the finish line. In a good way or a bad way, I love this moment. Crossing the line is the highlight of the race, hours of training… it’s a magical moment for me.
I remember the year 2012, when the city of Boulogne-sur-Mer organized the first Women’s Cup, which looked a bit like the world championship in canoeing for women. Before that, canoeing was almost forbidden for women. The position was considered vulgar and traumatic for a woman’s pelvis and therefore preventing future pregnancies. The Women’s Cup opened the way for women’s canoeing. Women’s canoe became an Olympic sport in 2020.”
“My name is Candice Malfoy and I’m 16 years old. I’m epileptic and due to seizures I repeated a year. So this year I start my first year. I have a license for 4 years in ELCO, Entente Lutte Côte d’Opale and I used to do dance and judo. I chose wrestling because I have always loved martial arts. For me, sports, and therefore wrestling, is a way to let off steam after classes. Thanks to sports, I learned to direct my energy and gained self-confidence. I train 4.5 hours a week, and I also have general classes strengthening and cardio.
In the club, we all train together, there is no difference between boys and girls. The club does everything it can for all its athletes, young and old, girls or boys.
In April 2023, I became the champion of France in my category. That is my best sports memory.
My best image as an athlete remains when French judoka Clarisse Agbégnénou won her Olympic title. »