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From Handball Courts to Ministries: The Cousins of Côte d’Ivoire

  • Claire Nicolas
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Sport and Politics book series (PASSP)

Abstract

Winners of numerous continental and national handball championship titles in the 1980s, the girls from the Lycée de jeunes filles of Bouaké, led by their French trainer, took it all in the eighties. According to the legend transcribed in the nationalist Ivoirian newspapers, their victories and fame allowed some of them to secure key positions within the sporting administrations in the 1990s: from Ministry of Education and Head of Sport (Sport and Leisure Ministry) to Sport teacher and Sport education inspector. Based on newspaper analysis, archives from the Ivorian Ministry of Sports and interviews with the players and their former trainers, this chapter aims at understanding how Ivoirian women secured such positions, which remained the prerogative of white male French cooperating partners until the late 1980s. This collective biography investigates the political, sporting and social networks of the “Cousines”. Thus, this chapter sheds light on leadership trajectories framed by race, gender and nationhood.

Notes

Acknowledgements

I wish to thank Michelle Sykes for generously reading and commenting on this chapter.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Nicolas
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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