Brest Brittany Handball. Pauline Coatanéa: “My life is not just about handball” – Brest Bretagne Handball



Champions League (3rd day). Ferencvaros – Brest BH, Saturday (4 p.m.)

You arrived at BBH in 2017, which makes you one of the club’s oldest players (after Cléopatre Darleux and Alicia Toublanc, in 2016). Today, perhaps you imagine yourself elsewhere than in Brest?

Good question, I resigned until 2025. Today, I do not see myself leaving elsewhere, I feel good in this club. If I can finish my career here, it would be a pleasure because Brest has big ambitions and I want to win titles. As long as there is this ambition, there is no reason for me to go elsewhere.

Many French women try the experience abroad. Could this still be of interest to you?

I asked myself the question when I left Nantes (in 2017). I had several options, including Erd and Siofok, in Hungary. I wanted to play in a big club, the Champions League, the Olympics. But Brest was the project I needed because it brings together the handball project and my personal life. I appreciate the moments off with my friends and the family and that, one does not have it abroad. And since then, Brest has been the priority.

“I come out of two seasons where I gave a lot, where I went very far physically and mentally. I did not come out unscathed from all this. »

You have not been selected for the next meeting in the France team. Going elsewhere to find a lasting place in the national team has it crossed your mind?

No because I have playing time in Brest, we do almost 30 minutes each with Alicia (Toublanc, right winger of BBH and Les Bleues). It’s not like I’m on the bench and not playing. If it was this configuration, I would have wondered what is wrong and if I need to leave. I come out of two seasons where I gave a lot, where I went very far physically and mentally. I did not come out unscathed from all this. Not having been to the World Cup in 2021 was a blessing in disguise because I was really in trouble. I always want to be 100% and can’t be, it was really frustrating. When I was triggered by appendicitis (in September 2021), it was a blow, I felt a shift between my head and my body. I played for ten days with the pain, but it didn’t alert me. And afterwards, I didn’t take enough time to recover when I normally listen to my body. All this is linked to physical fatigue after the Olympics.

How do you see the France team today?

What was difficult was that people were talking to me about the 2024 Olympics. It’s in my head, but I had to digest the Games before and for the moment, I find it difficult to project myself into 2024. I had a discussion with Olivier (Krumbholz, the coach) this month. We talk scene after scene. And I really want to find stability in my performance.

As a pro, you also played in Nantes, which is only 3:30 from Brest. Is it difficult to go longer?

At the time, I still didn’t know if I wanted to do handball as my job, but leaving did me good and realize that that’s what I wanted. I have always made my choices in order to have a balance between my professional life and my personal life. Me, it’s family, friends. With our pace of life, we miss a lot of events. Here, playing on Saturday, I can make the family meal on Sunday, it’s the big luxury for me, it’s a time when I disconnect.

Does it talk about handball at the table in these moments?

We often do a little debrief and then we move on. My life is not just handball. It’s my passion, but I love doing other things with my family and friends. There, I can answer both. My best friend, with whom I started handball in Locmaria, still lives here, I also still see girls with whom I was in sports studies in Brest.

“I am proud to be part of the history of this club. When I come back to Locmaria and see the young people looking up to me as a role model, it’s super rewarding. »

Does succeeding in your sporting career in your city give it a special flavor?

Yes, that’s a flavor plus. I tell myself that I am part of the Brest team in their first match in the Champions League. When we won the championship, the same. I am proud to be part of the history of this club. When I come back to Locmaria and see the young people looking up to me as a role model, it’s super rewarding. People in my family, when I was in Nantes, didn’t really realize that the hand was my profession. They found out when they came to see me at the Arena. And then it always marks me, after the matches, to see lots of people I know.

You are married this summer. Does it make you look at your career differently?

We were supposed to get married last year, but the Olympics report caused the wedding to be postponed. In Nantes, it was my career above all and we lived for a while at a distance, but now I no longer want that. Career choices, on the facts for two and if I had to leave, it would be a family project.

“I don’t want to damage my hand, I want to do other sports afterwards, especially trail running. »

You plan to embark on CSR (corporate social responsibility) after your career. Why ?

I really have a strong desire, here at BBH, for people to feel good. I find myself in its values, to have the best working conditions in the company, as in ecology. This may be due to my attachment to the territory. I did a skills assessment last year with the players’ union. I did a chemistry degree and, at first, I was more into marine cosmetics. But in the end, working in a lab doesn’t tempt me anymore!

Until what age do you plan to play (she is 29)?

I don’t want to damage my hand, I want to do other sports afterwards, especially trail running. I don’t give myself an age limit, but I will stop when I no longer want to play every three days.

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