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Twenty-some sport meets planned for Formentera low season

Mitja marato 2015  J.Antonio ArribasThe Formentera Council department of sports has, together with a handful of local sport and fitness clubs, organised some twenty sporting trials and other meets for the low season. Standing out among the different events on this year’s calendar are the footraces, which «attract athletes from around the country and around the world» and whose relevance, according to department head Jordi Vidal, «will only continue to grow in the coming years».

Races

The starting shot will take place 27 February with the Formentera All Round Trail, an event that will have more than 400 participants circling the island by way of the coastline. On March 1st, the Cursa de la Dona will coincide, as in years past, with the local holiday celebrating our autonomous region: Dia de les Illes Balears. The Cursa Pagesa Solidària (literally, the ‘women farmers’ solidarity race’) will be held March 6th. This year’s lighthouse-to-lighthouse footrace (De Far a Far) is scheduled for April 16th and this year will include a special category for Nordic walking. The Half Marathon (la Mitja Marató) – described by Councillor Vidal as the most renowned of the Formentera fitness events – will be held May 14th. Several years ago the event reached its established capacity of 2,400 runners, a self-imposed limit Vidal explained as ensuring «safety and tranquility of all those involved».

Formentera to Run, which in 2016 enters into its eighth year, will be held between May 29th and June 5th. The event is aimed at attracting a different brand of visitor – the active tourist. Councillor Vidal pointed out that runners who participate in Formentera to Run are often drawn by the prospect of spending an entire week on the island. On June 5th the island will celebrate the fourth year of NB Formentera Trail. Then, as the summer season proper draws to a close, the Pujada a la Mola footrace will be held October 12th. Finally, on December 12th, the John Tunks memorial race – la Cursa de la Constitució – turns 36.

Cycling

The councillor of sports also talked about four competitive cycling events on the 2016 programme: Tracks Formentera BTT (February 7th), Trofeu CDE Ciclisme en Ruta Illa de Formentera (March 27th), Copa Illa de Formentera (June 12th) and BTT La Mola (October 23rd). Another important post-season event in 2016 will be the fourth annual Formentera triathlon, scheduled for October 2nd.

Regatte

Councillor Vidal was proud to announce a string of nautical events on this year's sports calendar: the Regatha Ophiusa in May, the Regata trofeu penyal d'Ifac in June and – another event for windsurfers – la Volta a Formentera on September 18th.

New events

Councillor Vidal also announced the creation this year of a new sports trial, scheduled for April 3rd: Duatlon Cross. Other events in the works include an international beach volleyball tournament and an open-water swimming marathon, both in October. Vidal says his department's goal is to make the island more than just a great option for competitions: «Formentera has got an absolutely fantastic climate. That, and many possibilities for contact with the outdoors. We want athletes to see Formentera as a place to come train at the start and end of the season».

More than sport, solidarity

TODOSThe Formentera Council's department of sport has overseen organisation of a seminar entitled Solidarity and aid in the Third World (Solidaritat i cooperació al tercer món) to be given next week by Javier Colomo. Colomo is president of Amigos Solidarios, an NGO, and will speak to Formentera crowds Thursday the 21st and Friday the 22nd. As sports department head Jordi Vidal explained, the lecture is just one of the events organised as part of Esport és més (Sport is more) an initiative aimed at promoting the values inherent in sport. Coordination of the initiative has been handled jointly by the Formentera Council and the Govern Balear. The goal of the events is to promote fitness not just as a way for young people to stay healthy, but also to help build character and develop social skills.

At the seminar – which will be moderated by nationally renowned athletics trainer José Alborch – Colomo will discuss recent Amigos Solidarios projects in Uganda that have received the help of the Formentera Council. Yearly, the Council dedicates €1,000 of the funds raised at Formentera's half marathon to the not-for-profit group, which is helping build a school there. Looking ahead to the talks, Councillor Vidal mentioned: «Colomo will take the opportunity to explain to Formentera students and residents a bit about the living situation of children in countries in development and what we can do from here to help».

Timetable

Thursday January 21st from nine in the morning to one at midday in the CiF sala de Cultura (cinema), a number of versions of the seminar will be given to the different primary school groups of Sant Francesc, Sant Ferran and la Mola. Friday morning, the students of IES Marc Ferrer secondary school are scheduled to attend as well. That same evening at eight in the Council of Entities (next to the department of social services), the seminar will be hosted for the general public. Councillor Vidal encouraged the whole island to attend.

Tennis club and Baleària form partnership

Signatura conveni tennis premsaFormentera's tennis club – El Club de Tennis Illa de Formentera – has signed a collaborative accord with Fundació Baleària, the charitable branch of the maritime transport company, to provide transportation for budding Formentera athletes between the islands and mainland Spain. Francisco Luna, president of the tennis club, and Fundació Baleària's director Ricard Pérez met today at 1:30 in Formentera to sign the document into effect.

Also present at the signing was Formentera Council (CiF) councillor of sport Jordi Vidal, who reminded those in attendance of the standing agreement by which the CiF confers management of the municipal tennis school to Club de Tennis Illa de Formentera. The club currently has 150 members, 50 of which are children. Members of the club took the opportunity to present the Baleària executives with two photographs of their 2015 competitive group. After the signing, the Baleària officials stayed on a bit longer and renewed a travel expenses accord that Baleària has with another local sports club, Grup Esportiu Espalmador.

Sports centre to close during Christmas holiday

poliesportiu4Councillor of sports Jordi Vidal, speaking on behalf of the Formentera Council (CiF), has announced that the Antoni Blanc sports centre will be closed over the Christmas holiday. The centre will remain closed from 23 December through 6 January 2016. Staff will reopen the centre on the 7th, although regular activity will not resume until 11 January 2016.

According to the councillor, on the 7th and 8th January the centre will stay open from eight in the morning till nine at night. Morning classes will take place as usual, although in the afternoon activities will be restricted to use of the workout equipment and -at the pool- open swim. Councillor Vidal apologised for the inconvenience caused by the service interruption but said it would allow «staff of the Antoni Blanc centre some well-deserved rest» and «maintenance crews the time to carry out certain necessary upgrades».

First conference organised around promoting positive values in sport

valors esports premsaLearning communication skills to transmit values is the name of the conference to set take place tomorrow at 7 p.m. under the guidance psychologists Paco Pérez and Pere Serra in the culture department's hall of ceremonies. It is the very first in a series of talks grouped together under the banner Esport és més (Sport is more), an initiative to promote the values inherent in sport. The initiative is being promoted by the CiF's office of sport and between the Council and the Govern Balear will receive 15,000€ in public funding, explained Councillor Jordi Vidal.

From now until June, Formentera-based sports specialists will give conferences on topics tailored to suit different local audiences.

The conferences – intended for all audiences – will be held in the department of culture's hall of ceremonies (la sala d'Actes). Two other talks are also on tomorrow's line-up: Conflict resolution resources for sports professionals by Carlos Murillo and Michael Romero and Solidarity with the Third World by Javier Colomo. Finally, a third event – a seminar entitled Working with values in sport, from start to finish – will round out the agenda for the first round of talks.

Another three talks will be given at Formentera schools. The first – another by Javier Colomo – is titled Helping the Third World through sport. The second is called Sacrifice, the top brass and motivation, the Olympic dream and will be given by Asier Fernández and Mateo Sanz. The last of the three talks, led by Indra Roig, is titled Oral and dental hygiene and why they're important in sport.

On-going encounters will be held on a monthly basis in an effort to provide counsel and resources to sports clubs and team trainers, monitors, directors and athletes themselves. Some of the topics include Coaching and social acceptance at the team and individual level and Conflict resolution resources for sports professionals. These talks will be led by Pere Serra and Michael Romero.

Furthermore, conference organisers will distribute informational material in the form of brochures and bookmarks to students and other attendants and use footage from the events to create a promotional video. The goal, underscored Vidal, is to promote the values like teamwork, respect and effort that are essential in sport. «The same thing that makes Formentera so unique also makes strong values – like those that underpin sport – crucial to the healthy development of each one of us», said the councillor.

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