Appointing, on Friday 20 May, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra Minister of Sport and of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Emmanuel Macron is a little more in line with continuity: that of appealing, after the fencer Laura Flexel and the swimmer Roxana Maracineanu during his first term at the Elysée, to former high-level sportsmen for ministerial office.
It’s also no surprise why the name of the former French tennis hope and current director general of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) was high on the list of potential candidates for the ministry. Amélie Oudéa-Castéra specifically wrote the sports proposals for Emmanuel Macron’s presidential program: thirty minutes a day introduction of sports in primary school and two additional hours of physical education per week in college from the beginning of the 2022 school year.
She had also been approached by the Ministry of Sport in 2017, but then Laura was preferred to Flexel. Ditto eighteen months later, when Roxana Maracineanu was chosen to replace the former swordswoman, that she resigned.
Amélie Oudéa-Castéra can congratulate herself on being a full-fledged minister when the former world champion in the basins practices, since July 2020, under the supervision of national education. Furthermore, the new minister sees the scope of her action extended to the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, a strong signal two years after the event.
“A great work capacity”
This event on Avenue de France, which arrives less than forty-eight hours after the launch of Roland-Garros, is nevertheless “rewards” the loyalty of this dear friend of President Macron, whom he met at the ENA at the beginning of the 2000s.
“She is a brilliant woman, with great work ability, persuasive skills and a lot of sensitivity. She has a very catchy side but you have to know how to follow her rhythm, she is not always aware that not everyone has her skills, summarizes a member of the FFT management team. We knew it at all times [cette nomination] It could happen. “
A brilliant junior tennis player, Amélie Oudéa-Castera has never been ranked higher than 251And world ranking of the WTA professional circuit. In 1996, convinced that she would not play leading roles on the fields, at the age of 18 she puts away her rackets and prepares for Sciences Po Paris, which she will integrate with her on a flattering note. She continues with Essec and ENA, in the same promotion (Senghor) as Emmanuel Macron.
Graduated in 2004, she made her debut as a magistrate at the Court of Auditors before joining the insurer Axa in 2008, for which she dealt with marketing and then digital management. Ten years later, Carrefour recruited her to help negotiate digital transformation change. You won’t have time to make your mark on it.
In March 2021, Gilles Moretton, newly elected president of the French Tennis Federation, finally convinced her – after several attempts – to join the general management of the “fédé”. There is no shortage of projects: the FFT comes out, like all French sport, weakened by the first months of Covid. Amélie Oudéa-Castera therefore has as a priority the optimization of the proceeds of Roland Garros, the cash cow of French tennis, or the relaunch of the practice among the youngest, whose number of licensees continues to decrease.
“It has an impressive need and work capacity”Amélie Mauresmo, the new director of the Parisian Grand Slam, said about her in an interview with Figaro. “Amélie has a capacity for mobilization and an exceptional intensity in her commitment. She has always maintained a high level culture “, judge for his part Alexandre Bompard, CEO of Carrefour.
The imperative success of the Games
Now the Minister of Sport, “AOC”, 44, will have to prove it. In two years, the eyes of the whole world will be on the Paris Olympic Games. Organizational success, if not sporting success for France, is imperative. As well as compliance with the budget and environmental commitments.
Beyond sporting success – the goal of a top 5 for France seems increasingly difficult – and the legacy of these Olympics, “AOC” will also have a roadmap to continue the transformation of sport governance with deployment in the regions of the National Sport Agency (ANS), whose creation in April 2017 confused the players in the sector.
The senior official, married to Frédéric Oudéa, general manager of Société Générale, knows the file: she was appointed to the board of directors of the National Center for the Development of Sport, ancestor of ANS, in 2009; you have worked to improve the governance of the federations within your Rénovons le sport français association; and was commissioned in 2018 to lead the ANS, chaired at the time by Jean Castex. But this time it was she who had turned down the offer.