My strength doesn’t really
lie in being aggressive. I am a gentle person and the
coach often tells me that I need to force myself
and go out on the field to, so to speak, kill somebody. And yes, I find it hard to
imagine myself like that, but nevertheless
it is like a combat. You really have to fight
each other on the field. The aim of Tignes training camp
was to work at high altitude between 2,000 and 3,000 metres
in order to charge up with red blood cells to get stronger when we get back to a
lower altitude and then to be able to play
in our best physical form. We have fun together as a group
of 21 girls, working hard, suffering together, and
sometimes, when we manage to play a good rugby match, despite the tough training,
we enjoy it a lot. For the most part, I
grew up with my mother since my father was in the
military and travelled a lot. As children we grew up with the
African culture and we went on many holidays with our
French grandparents, we also grew up with the
European culture. There is nothing like going out
on the field wearing the French team jersey, I feel very proud. For a sportsman in competition, there is nothing like wearing the jersey of your national
team and if you can wear it to
the Olympic Games, it is like a dream come true. I mainly spoke to my dad
about integration. When I was a child, I often
wondered about myself, because at school there
weren’t many black people. When I started playing rugby we were also the only black
people. When you grow up,
these matters arise, but we learned to turn this
difference into a strength. My mother is from Central
Africa, she arrived in France
at the age of 23. My father was in the military, they met when he was in
Central Africa on a mission. When my elder brother was born, they decided to go back to
France. And that is the reason why
she left her home country. My mother’s mother tongue
is Sango, which is spoken in Central African Republic. She talks to me in Sango and
I usually answer in French. My parents got divorced in
1996. My mother then got married
again and had another son and my father also got married again and had two girls and a
boy. So in total, there are eight of
us. My brother and I, we are
really close, just like twins. We got into rugby at the same
time. I was eight years old back
then. I remember going back to
Central Africa in 1996. There I was the
“little white girl” who is spending her
holiday in Central Africa. They really saw me as
a European girl who was there on holiday. If I have been faced with
racism? In rugby, never. As a child, when I was doing
athletics, there were dubious comments
like “a black won again”. I think racism is the
fear of something or someone that is different. I think it is people who are
afraid of the unknown of people who don’t look
like them. Quite simply, you shouldn’t
fear something just because it looks different
or you don’t know it. It should be quite
the opposite, actually. When talking about integration, sports can help because it
brings people together. By doing the same thing,
suffering for the same cause, fighting together,
winning together. So I think it’s good
for integration.

African Roots and French Pride Bring Strength To Rugby Sevens Star | Flag and Family
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