“I want to live from my passion for rugby”

At 19, Anaïs Grando is a fulfilled Catalan / DR

August 3, 2022
Featured, Portrait

There are more devouring passions than others, just like professions in osmosis or not with a desired choice of life. These are all the dilemmas of a fulfilling life. For Anaïs Grando, only one choice is essential, that of giving herself every chance of living from her passion for rugby. Player in the Usap XV women’s team, we met this over-motivated Catalan. She told us about her background and her ambitions. Roussillon Week tells you about them.

First of all, it is good to specify that no, rugby is not a team sport exclusively reserved for men. Just like synchronized swimming, on the contrary perceived as a female sport, it tends to become mixed. Indeed, women’s rugby has had a steadily increasing number of licensees for several years. “It cannot be denied that women and men have physiological differences, but this does not prevent women from playing this sport in women’s teams”, would like to point out Anaïs. We agree, even if shifting the lines of sporting ideology remains a feat to be achieved. Only time will tell… Anaïs Grando is from Saint-Féliu-d’Amont, a peaceful little village on the banks of the Têt where life is good. She spent all her youth there following a traditional education, first in primary school in her village, before joining Millas and her college. She continued her studies at the Maillol high school in Perpignan by integrating the rugby section. The pronounced taste for rugby, Anaïs discovered it very early. “My uncle played XV, first in Millas then in Prades. As a child, I loved going to see him play.

Tell me where are you from?

“It was a bit like a rugby tradition in the family. That’s how at 8 years old, I too started rugby at Millas, where until minimal, I played with the boys., she explains. Supported by her family, Anaïs will therefore combine school life with the practice of rugby. She tried her hand at gymnastics, but obviously rugby corresponded more to her desires. Team spirit certainly has something to do with it! From then on, she will focus most of her life on this passion sport that she loves so much. Now a player with the Usap XV women’s team, she has just returned from a tournament in Poland with the France team at 7. “I was engaged in Elite 2, and I am also part of the French team with 7 development which has just contested the European championships which took place in Lisbon in Portugal, where I was with the team de France at 7 professional, and the second round took place in Krakow in Poland. I am filled “, she exclaims. It is for her a passion sport that she most often shares with her family and her teammates. “Not much time to go out and party like other young people my age”she continues, before adding: “I manage my own lifestyle”. It must be said that in this branch of sport, the girls do not have the infrastructure or the means of a professional team, whereas they play in the 2nd national division, but can count on a directive team and coaches who listen to them.

A passion sport

Having for but to become professional, she does not hide that this female sport is sorely lacking in support, even if the media trend tends to be reversed. The Usap XV women’s team still has 40 senior girls. “The difficulty is that to go “pro” in the France team at 7 is complicated because the level is very high. But hey, I’m young, just 19, so I’m going to fight to get there and give myself every chance.”. Anaïs has an iron mind and a solid physical preparation, but regrets the too big difference in the media in this sport between the women’s and men’s teams. As for budgets and other sponsors, the difference is abysmal! She trains every day, and allows herself a minimum of free time. “It’s a demanding sport, but I practice it with great pleasure. It’s true that I don’t go out a lot, I’m like in my bubble, but I can count on those around me and that’s the most important thing because the mind is what’s most important.. We can confirm that Anaïs is very generous and can count on the benevolent eye of her father, her first admirer. Her sisters also watch over her. This passionate Catalan hopes to achieve her goals, but wishes to stay not too far from her Catalan country. “Afterwards, if I have to leave to live off rugby, I’ll leave, but I’ll stay in France anyway and if possible not too far from home”. We understand it, when you live in Catalan lands, you aspire to only one thing, to live there with dignity for the rest of your life. This concludes our interview with Anaïs Grando. We wish him a long and passionate life in his favorite field of rugby.

Portrait taken by Sebastià Vilanou on July 8, 2022.-

The Lafage estate in Canet-en-Roussillon supports the Usap XV women’s team © SV

Rugby Union

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