At almost 34 years old, the little girl from the swamp is surprising. Originally from Marans, she fell into the rugby pot when she could not yet walk. Meeting with Aurélie GROIZELEAU, from oval to youngster…

In February 1989, while her dad was playing a match in Saintes, her mum had contractions in the stands, which is to say that her destiny was already mapped out.

Rugby is a family story! His dad and his uncles play at the Amicale de Rugby de Marans club, created in 1969 by a group of friends, and his grandmother is the treasurer. This club is a bit like her second home and Aurélie is putting on her cleats for the first time when she was 5 years old. She dreams of going far in the competition and gives herself the means by integrating the Pôle Espoir de Toulouse at 14 years old.

After several selections for the France team, she was forced to stop high-level competition because of a birth defect which deprived her of a kidney. At the time, the rules are strict and do not allow the practice of sport in the France team for people who are missing an organ. Luckily things are changing, in the right direction.

In 2009, the sports addict who had not finished with the oval ball, decided to get involved on the other side by becoming a referee. Today she is the only woman to officiate at the professional level and to wear the colors of France internationally.

 Next fall, she will not miss the big meeting that awaits the XV of France by joining the team of referees for the World Cup, in particular for the management of the benches or as a substitute referee !

Go France !

But Aurélie is also a breeder of pigeons. She joined the farm of her parents, created in 1992 “Le pigeonneau du Marais”. With nearly 7 pairs and 000 youngsters, the farm, which has always wanted to maintain its independence, works closely with producer shops, such as The Farmers of the Marais Poitevin in Ferrieres.

And when she finds the time to take a break, the young mother likes to get on her bike for a ride “alone in the middle of nothing” between Marans and the Brault bridge.


© Studio Thomas Bonnin

The people here
Written on 25/08/2023
Marie, pastry chef with a taste for horizons