Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, new Minister of Sports

The former Minister of Sports in the Borne government entrusted, on the occasion of the opening of the Roland-Garros tournament, her first life to the tennis courts.

Amélie Oudéa-Castéra started playing tennis at the age of six. © Amélie Oudéa-Castera

He is part of the “Macron promo” at the ENA but also of the “Mauresmo promo” of tennis. Amélie Oudéa-Castéra could have dedicated her career to being a professional player and champion. Prior to his appointment to the Ministry of Sports in the Borne government, which was still the case Director General of the French Tennis Federation he recounted his sporting career at the microphone of Fabrice Abgrall.

13 minutes

“Tennis made me happy with the effort” – listen to the full interview with Amélie Oudéa-Castera.

By Fabrice Abgrall

From the age of six, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra holds the racket with ambition. “I had a great motivation that was also to beat my older sister, who was four years older than me and who was a tremendous driving force. “, she says. ‘Tennis was the king of sports. And then what an incredibly complete sport! Move your legs, move your head, your arms. There is technique, tactics, mentality. It is a sport that is inexhaustible. “

Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Director General of the French Tennis Federation.
Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Director General of the French Tennis Federation. / DR

Until the age of 15, he chained titles and victories. Champion of France minimum in 1992, junior in 1994. Then she rubbed shoulders with Amélie Mauresmo, Emilie Loit, Nathalie Dechy, a golden generation of French women’s tennis. She dreams of winning Roland Garros: “I had made a beautiful poster just above my bed, in which I cut out pictures from Tennis magazine and put up my own posters with the faces of Gabriela Sabatini, Martina Navratilova or Chris Evert. “, she remembers. “Among men, I liked Wilander’s calmness, placidity, and, of course, Yannick Noah’s passion. I was also living in the Borg myth that my parents loved, the genius of McEnroe, they really were the great idols with whom I feel I grew up a little.. “

“I had the opportunity to exchange balls against Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon”

Amélie Oudéa-Castéra won the 1992 Orange Bowl in the under-fourteen category. She also holds three French champion titles in the youth categories. As a junior, he reached the individual semifinals of the U.S. Open in 1993, then Roland-Garros and Wimbledon in 1994.

Amélie Oudéa-Castéra with Amélie Mauresmo, after the final of the junior French championship.
Amélie Oudéa-Castéra with Amélie Mauresmo, after the final of the junior French championship. / DR

With high school in hand a year in advance, he finally decided to pursue his studies. Science po, then ENA, promoted Senghor, the same as President Emmanuel Macron. “I mean, I finally played the biggest tournaments in the worldwelcome. I traveled to the countries that made me dream. I had the opportunity to exchange balls against Martina Navratilova on the Wimbledon turf. I also had the opportunity to play at Roland Garros, even in the final draw. I had a chance to go to the semifinals of three of the four Grand Slam tournaments. It’s great and I can almost close my sports chapter now so as not to sacrifice anything from my study chapter and that will prepare me for another professional life.

“This career in tennis has given me a taste for effort, a sense of discipline, a desire to go all the way.”

The senior official then entered the Court of Auditors where she was a magistrate. She then went through the marketing department of a large insurance group (AXA) before becoming the director of the Carrefour group. “This career I met in tennis gave me a taste for effort, a sense of discipline, a desire to go all the way, to set goals, to give myself the means to achieve them.“says what is now the Minister of Sports.

Amélie Oudéa-Castéra began her tennis career by winning the 1992 Orange Bowl in the under-14 category.
Amélie Oudéa-Castéra began her tennis career by winning the 1992 Orange Bowl in the under-14 category. / DR

But the high-level player has also had to adapt to business life, community and teamwork, she who had been trained in the cult of personal success and athletic performance: “I think I also had to learn, in the company, the reflections, the collective, the fact of integrating it in a company where the collective life, the life in society, is not the same as high-level or high-performance sport. , with champions like an elite, totally riveted in goals to surpass themselves, etc. trusts the ex-athlete. “It is a collective, a company, where the society of people has very heterogeneous projections, different levels of motivation, different projections, different desires. And I really had to learn that“She admits.

A 1993 US Open finalist, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra also played at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 1994.
A finalist at the 1993 US Open, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra also played at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 1994. / DR

But it’s not about resuming competition and high-dose tennis. Amélie Oudéa-Castéra still plays for FC. “I kept my way of grabbing the racket, but my hands show me that there is this relearning to do every time.“.

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