Wednesday, 22 May 2024

BWF News: Milena Surreau Turns Her Passion for Badminton into Advocacy for Autism


Para badminton player Milena Surreau is not defined by her autism but is using it as a driving force to make a positive impact. At just four years old, Surreau was diagnosed with autism, a complex developmental disability that affects social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation. Now 24, she has emerged as a role model in the badminton world, proving that autism is not a barrier to success.

A Champion On and Off the Court

Surreau recently made headlines as the women’s singles finalist in the Spanish Para Badminton International II 2022. But her achievements go beyond the badminton court. She is also the founder of Auticea, an association dedicated to training service dogs for individuals with autism needs.

The Power of a Service Dog

Surreau’s service dog, Eugene, a white Swiss Shepherd, plays a crucial role in her life. Eugene is trained to detect medical issues, such as seizures, before they occur. This gives Surreau the opportunity to manage her condition and seek medical assistance if necessary. Additionally, Eugene provides comfort and support in noisy environments, helping Surreau maintain her calm and well-being.

Training Dogs for Autism Needs

Recognizing the long waiting times for trained service dogs in France, Surreau took matters into her own hands. Alongside her friends, she established Auticea to independently train service dogs for individuals with autism. Surreau’s passion for this cause extends beyond her badminton career, as she aims to make a difference in the lives of autistic individuals.

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World Autism Awareness Day

On April 2nd, the world unites to observe World Autism Awareness Day. This global initiative aims to raise awareness about the challenges faced by individuals with autism and celebrates their unique capabilities. It emphasizes the importance of inclusivity and acceptance within our communities.

Visit Carnegiecentre to learn more about Milena Surreau’s journey and the inspiring work of Auticea.


  • Q: How does Milena Surreau’s service dog assist her?

    • A: Milena’s service dog, Eugene, is trained to detect medical issues, such as seizures, before they occur. Additionally, Eugene provides comfort and support in noisy environments.
  • Q: Can any breed of dog be trained as a service dog for individuals with autism?

    • A: Yes, as long as the dogs are quite large, any breed can be trained to assist individuals with autism.


Milena Surreau’s story is a testament to the power of determination and advocacy. Through her achievements in badminton and the establishment of Auticea, Surreau is creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for individuals with autism. Her journey is an inspiration for both athletes and advocates alike, reminding us that with passion and commitment, we can overcome any obstacles that come our way.