News Student portrait

High level sportswoman and student at ISA

Myriam is a student at JUNIA and high level sportswoman in the Lille water polo team (elite women).

Sport & studies

Here is an interview of our student Myriam. She’s currently studying at JUNIA in food science and she’s also trainning in the Elite Woman Team of water polo as sportswoman. She testifies of this double life where organization and challenge are the key words.

How do you manage to pass an engineering degree while being a high level sportwoman?

First of all, I can do it because my administration has been really accepting of my training schedule.

I practice every day from 9h to 10h30 and then from 18h30 to 21h30. In between, it’s the time that I have for school or work. A lot of the time I have to go directly from practice to school and then the opposite at night.

My teachers understand that I have to miss class every morning for training, and when I have competitions. On the other hand, when I am absent, I have to make up the group exercises and the individual tests in my own free time, so I have to catch up on everything I miss really fast.

This is possible thanks to my colleagues as they understand my project and they help me a lot. They are taking all of my courses and they take the time to explain things to me when I don’t understand.

I have to work a lot on my time management because I don’t have a lot of free time at home. This means I have to pay extra attention in class, and make sure I use my lunch breaks to complete homework or study for an exam.

How are you able to work and train at the same time?

I work for Meert the pastry store located in the center of Lille. I succeed because my employer loves sports and he is really supportive of me.

He understands how hard it is to combine high level training and work so we came up with a schedule that suits the both of us. The second reason is that my work is only 15 min from the pool by bike.

Is this double project affecting your sports performance ?

I would say yes, and no, at the same time.

No because I’ve always done this, so my body is used to having a busy day, but also yes, because my schedule is a lot more intense than my teammates, which means I don’t have as much time to recover between practices.

To make sure I am not too tired for practice I have to take good care of my body during the day, and at night. This means going to bed as early as possible, and eating the right kind of food to keep my energy levels high throughout the day.

"JUNIA's administration has been really accepting of my training schedule. They really support me."

What is sport bringing you for your future ?

It helps me to improve my organisation and to be more efficient in everything I do. It teaches me respect, discipline, and professionalism, but also team work.

I also travel a lot thanks to international competitions like Eurocup. I have been to countries like Hungary, Greece, and Italy which has allowed me to experience a lot of different cultures. Playing against so many different teams has also allowed me to meet lots of players from all over the world.

On my team there are 9 different nationalities (American, Canadian, Swiss, Finnish, Greek, Czeck, Russian, Dutch, and French). Thanks to them I have learned their different customs and traditions, and it has made me much more open minded.

At practice, we speak only in English since we have a lot of foreigners and our coaches are also foreigners. The head coach is Montenegrin and the assistant coach is Greek.

Thanks to the girls who speak English, I have been able to practice and improve my oral skills for the past few years, and it is because I am surrounded by English speakers that I got my toeic with 925 out of 990.

I’m sure that without sport I wouldn’t be as good at school or at work. It brings balance to my life. It challenges me every day and pushes me to bring the best out of myself.

I want to prove that it’s possible to do both and that we are not obliged to choose between sport and studies.

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