Transmission will be the key for Béatrice Edwige at RYT event
Throughout her career, transmitting and communicating positive messages of support has always been one of the main goals for Béatrice Edwige. And while she still gives tips to her French national teammates every time she can, the line player will try to share her experience in the next few weeks at the Respect Your Talent Player of the Match event, a process she is really excited about.
“When I was contacted by the European Handball Federation, it made sense right away. I’d heard about the Respect Your Talent programme via social media, and how players like Ana Gros and Andrea Lekic were part of it” she says. “I find it really interesting to try and help out upcoming players.”
Be it within her clubs, or in her personal life, the French line player has always been really keen on sharing her experience and the tips she learnt along her journey. “I am not pretentious enough to think I will teach my young teammates anything about handball or life” she explains. “But if I can help them out with just a couple of things, then I will consider my job done. I’ve done it in my various teams, through my personal foundation in Guyana, where I was born, so it made sense to me to also do it on a European level.”
At 34, it is fair to say that Edwige has almost seen it all in handball. A EHF EURO winner with France in 2018, she also won the World Championship and the Olympic Games in 2021, while she currently plays for last season’s Champions League finalists, FTC.
But while she made it to the top of women's handball, her beginnings in handball did not feature youth national teams. So, as she says, “I build myself in a different way. I did not have the chance to have Respect Your Talent camps, but I made it my own, talking to Siraba Dembele-Pavlovic or Allison Pineau when I made my debuts in the national team.”
Based on her career, which is far from over yet, there are quite a few things that Beatrice Edwige would like to focus on while talking to the young players in the Respect Your Talent programme. “I would like to tell them to surround themselves with the good people. I come from an era when we did not have any agents, for instance, or any personal coaches. Things have changed a lot for players, and in a good way, but you have to be careful as bad choices can quickly wreck a career” explains the 34-year-old.
The best way to get the message across, she thinks, is to try to do it positively. “I want the girls to enjoy the moment, first and foremost. If they realise how lucky they are to have this kind of opportunity and come to talk to us with a smile, it will be easier to tell them my story” says Edwige. Of course, the setting might be a little bit more formal than at training or before a game, but the perspective will be exactly the same.
And while the focus will be put on handball, of course, Beatrice Edwige promises she will not forget to empower these young girls to become powerful women: “I want them to believe in themselves. I learnt that in my personal experience, that is what drove me to that level. Self-belief and work, these are the two keys, in handball or in your everyday life.”