On the occasion of the day of Judo for Elle, we went to meet several high-level judokas, having evolved in French selections. For this first interview, we spoke with Martine Dupond, who was the coach of the women’s Judo team between 2009 and 2016.
Soccer Hearts – Could you tell us about your background? You started judo just when it started to gain momentum?
Martine Dupond – I arrived at the Ile-de-France League in September. I had many missions before (smile).
I started judo at the age of 6/7, then I was a top athlete in the 80s/90s. Yes, women’s judo began to gain visibility during the first world championship, where Jocelyne Triadou was world champion, it was in 1981 in New York. The first time the women were at the Olympic Games was in Seoul in 1988, where there was also Cathy Arnaud who won a medal. Officially in 1992 in Barcelona, where there were two titles for women.
I was a sports teacher at the Ministry of Sports, now National Education. I was a teacher at INSEP for many years where I trained coaches in different BE1/BE2 disciplines at the time. I was national coach (from 2009 to 2016), responsible for the high level for the 2012/2016 Games. Since 2012, I have campaigned for the London Games with the women’s and those of 2016 in Rio with the women’s and men’s. Then I was DTN in charge of training at the Federation.
Today, I no longer have orientations on development, we work on inclusion, integration, it’s in tune with the times, I accompany clubs on projects that are financed by the Ministry of work, to put in place situations that allow young people who are unemployed or without training to be able to find a path, one might say, a virtuous one, a path to employment thanks to the involvement of sports clubs.
CDF – Do we have the feeling that your whole career is based on people?
MD – Yes, that’s for sure, when you’re a teacher you come into contact with people.
CDF – There are 26% of licensed girls/women who practice judo today, are these satisfactory figures in your opinion?
MD – What you need to know, in certain departments or regions, is that we are more around 30% and then it depends on age. For example among the youngest, children, we have age categories where we are almost 50/50.
CDF – For a few weeks now the French women’s football team has expressed its dissatisfaction on several points, including the management, do you as DTN and former coach, do you find that it is virtuous in this specific case? ?
MD – I don’t really know the subject, but of course I know, it’s a bit problematic.
What you have to measure is that we have these athletes almost every day, in any case we in judo, for many years and it is true that it is sometimes difficult, because the high level there there are a lot of constraints and of course we, the coaches or the team managers, we are the people who impose or put in place the constraints and the guideline, so it is certain that it is difficult for some athletes to experience it. I believe that the number of years, that it is visibly great champions who visibly express themselves today, it is certain that if it has not worked for many years, there are hopes or expectations of a different operation, and which sometimes does not happen. But very honestly I am not sufficiently armed to say anything about what is happening in the French women’s football team.
CDF – In judo you managed to win titles, and it was frustration that took over among the football players?
MD – Yes, after very honestly I think that the “fortunate” in quotation marks for women’s judo is that for many years, the elected officials or the people who were in place at that time, very quickly understood that it had to put women at the same level as men, ie same type of training, same bonuses etc etc almost the same budget that is invested for success, and when it happens like that, in general it works.
Photo : © Corine Taine / FFJudo