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13 October 2022

Working at Beau Soleil: being part of a community

I started playing basketball at the age of 5, in Belgium, my country of origin. I felt in love with this sport very fast, just like 2 of my brothers. The rhythm of the weekly trainings intensified very quickly: 1 session, then 2 then 3 until I joined, at the age of 12, the training centre of RBC Pepinster. With more than 10 hours of training and 2 games per week, I literally lived, ate and slept basketball for 6 years, until I turned 18. It was a unique opportunity to learn from the bests, but also a strong discipline: strict life and food hygiene, no skiing,... but an intense experience and unforgettable memories!

At the end of my schooling, I had to choose between a professional career as a basketball player and university studies. I chose the second option, with a degree in Hospitality Management and a Master and MBA in Finance. During my studies, I tried to continue playing amateur basketball, but the difference in the game level and the lack of competitive spirit quickly put me off. So I put this passion aside and focused on my professional career.

When I arrived at Beau Soleil in February 2020, I barely had time to take up my duties that the Covid-19 pandemic appeared. Semi-confinement, exceptional absence of students on site, home office, etc, it was difficult for me to understand the vibes of my new work place. I could understand the importance of community at Beau Soleil but could not yet feel it.

 

Just as I do in my administrative role, I try to pass on to my players not only skills but also, and above all, values.

 

Taking over as coach of the Beau Soleil Basketball Team for students aged 15 to 18 has allowed me to not only reconnect with my passion (and youth!) but also to benefit from the full Beau Soleil experience. As Director of Finance, I hold an important position within the school’s organisation, but it is not visible to the students. As basketball coach, I can be more actively involved in school life, this time in a visible way.

Just as I do in my administrative role, I try to pass on to my players not only skills but also, and above all, values. Dribbling, shooting, defence, physical preparation and sequences of play are naturally important. Respect, tolerance, surpassing oneself and team spirit are essential, not forgetting the simple pleasure of playing

I am lucky enough to work with these young people outside of the classroom; my interactions with them are perhaps more informal, more friendly than between a teacher and a student. I make sure that a climate of trust is established within the team. At each training session, I check how the students are doing, how they feel within the Beau Soleil community, support them if they are having a bad day and encourage them to assert themselves. More than seeing them progress in basketball, it is this support that gives me the most satisfaction