Tell us a bit about you?
CP: « I’m Carole Ponchon from France. I’m a 33 years old sport passionate and activist. I grew up in a rural village in France. I used to travel the world through my books as a child and considered myself lucky to have had the chance since ten years to visit various countries through my work.
I am a critical thinker for sure, fierce words lover and undoubtedly a bit crazy. I define myself as a world citizen, an idea agitator and a goalkeeper. I am currently the CEO of BeInnovActiv’ whoch I founded in 2013. BeInnovActiv’s mission is to equip socially driven sport organisations and individuals with the relationships and resources they need to drive change locally. »
What is your relationship to sport?
CP: « Well, as said I’m a sport lover and activist. Sport has been crucial in my development. I had been playing soccer for more than 15 years starting as early as the age of 6 in a mixed team. It was on the soccer field where I, the shy bookworm, transformed into Carole, the relentless competitor. I retired from playing eight years ago (AND I DO MISS IT A LOT), but the significant impact sport made on my life was enough that I’ve dedicated my entire career to it so far. I am convinced that sport and play can be the catalyst for a better world, a malleable impactful tool. I’m on a mission to advocate for the power of sport worldwide and I’m currently leading 3 European and worldwide projects related to sport. »
What is your best memory in sport?
CP: « It is so hard to pick one! I would say that personnally it could be when -aged 20- I qualified with my soccer team to the Futsal Regional Tournament and played pretty well there facing the best teams. The reason why I recall it is that I got a « Blanc/Barthez » kiss style from my dad when I stopped a qualifying penalty. His way to express he was proud of me, no word were needed.
On a rather differrent perspective, I would mention my most recent collective experience, breaking a world record with Equal Playing Field in France alongside the FIFA Women World Cup. Not only was it a unique opportunity to represent my country but most importantaly it was about something bigger: playing and uniting with friends from all other the world to adress the major issue of gender inequalities and promote the Human right to move and play.
These experience taught me we can dream big and crazy. Having seen the « behind the scene » of the EPF Record I also realized that the key to success is to set yourself big and clear goals, believe in yourself and surround yourself with a team you can rely on. Then, no matter the barriers you will face, you can move (or climb) moutains! Being clear with your vision and going for it with your power pack is a blast and can be done at any level. This is a lesson highly applicable to the business world. »
What is the super power you have developed through sport?
CP: « Many will not understand or qualify this as a super power, and to be honnest I would have probably not got it myself some years ago. I would say « Acceptance of my vulnerability ». Fact is I did develop it on the field as a goalkeeper but it tooks me years -and a trip to the US- to understand it! The reason why I felt unbreakable and complete on a football pitch was never because of my jersey which could have been like an armour. It was because I went on the pitch embracing my whole self, accepting my vulnerability and the fact that I may fail… so that I would actually not freeze overthinking when time for action was there. »
How is this super power useful in your daily work life today?
CP: « To be fully honnest, I’m still working on further strenghtening this super power. But this is a key of my own success in my work life because it forces me to MOVE and ACT. I have realised I should not be settled back by my impostor syndrom or a constant search for perfectionism. Don’t take me wrong, I’m focusing on delivering high quality services and still tend to overthink but this super power – or the fact that I know I have it in me- helps me to take some risks and move on. It is because of the super power of accepting my vulnerabilities that I feel strong and empower enough to choose to matter. »