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Formentera Half Marathon welcomes 2,600 runners

mitjamaratóAlongside a team of sponsors, organisers and staff from his own department, CiF sports councillor Jordi Vidal reported this morning on the details of this weekend's eighth annual Formentera Half Marathon. Staff specialist Daniel de la Dueña and two representatives from sponsor organisations of Saturday's race, Josep Marí (Caixabank) and Nuria de la Torre (Trasmapi), were among those at a press conference.

One thousand seven hundred runners signed up for the 21km half marathon. They will gather and start from the la Mola lighthouse at 5.30pm. Another 900 will set out in Sant Ferran at the same time on the 8km circuit. On routes that cut across Es Pujols, both races will finish in la Savina. A team of 100 volunteers will help organisers ensure a smooth succession of the day's events. Traffic will be cut off from Sant Ferran to la Mola from 4.30pm; in the opposite direction, it will be blocked from 5,30pm. It will reopen in both cases at 7.30pm. The same cuts will occur simultaneously along the la Savina-Es Pujols-Sant Ferran road.

Remarking on the enormous popularity of the marathon, Councillor Vidal noted safety was behind a cap on registration. He took the opportunity to applaud organisers and participants alike on what he hoped would be a great chance to experience the island. Vidal also thanked the marathon's sponsors and body of volunteers and public safety officers for making the event a reality.

Aid to six athletes and two technical specialists

Foto judokesSports councillor Jordi Vidal reported today on the decision by the Formentera Council Office of Sport to award €13,000 in grants to six sportspeople and two coaches from the island. The grant recipients –three tennis players, two judo players and a pro runner– are all under 18. As part of a February agreement and in partnership with the regional foundation for sport (Fundació Balear per l’Esport), the Govern Balear has pledged to contribute €10,000 to the initiative. The Formentera administration, for its part, has added its own contribution of €3,000 “to cover the basic needs of the grantees”.

According to Vidal, the grants were created to “help these young men and women in their development as professional athletes”. Vidal described the process of pursuing economic support for the Formentera residents, which he said began with a request to Carles Gunyalons, director general of sports in the Balearics. Vidal told Gunyalons of his office's commitment to helping the local athletes improve their performance, a task all the more important given the uniqueness of Formentera's particular situation.

The CiF Office of Sport drew up criteria for athletes that sought to qualify for the assistance packs. An application review committee, formed by Councillor Vidal; Eivissa native and Fundació per l'Esport representative Javier Bonet Salvà; Formentera Office of Sport staff specialist Daniel de la Dueña and, in an outside advisory role, José Alborch, coordinator for Escoles Esportives Municipals. The review process, said Vidal, centred around “applicants' needs and athletic level”.

Cala Saona to be scene of first international beach volleyball tournament

Foto presentació torneig voleiEarlier today, the Formentera Council’s Office of Sport announced the details concerning its first ever world amateur beach volleyball tournament, set to take place this Saturday on the Cala Saona beach at 12 noon. The CiF councillors in attendance at the morning press conference were Jordi Vidal, of the sports office, and Alejandra Ferrer, of tourism. Also present were two former players from the Spanish national volleyball team: Rafa Pascual and Ernesto Rodríguez, who is organising Saturday’s event.

The tournament will take place all weekend at Cala Saona beach, though one modality –four on four– will be at the centre of a championship that starts today and culminates in a final match at 5.00pm. As Councillor Vidal explained this morning, Maurizia Cacciatore will be the guest of honour at this weekend’s events. Ms Cacciatore, as Vidal noted, is considered by many to be the greatest player Italian volleyball has ever known. The councillor took the opportunity to urge the entire island to come out and “enjoy the waterfront show”.

The matches on Saturday and Sunday will be open to teams of two, in men’s and women’s categories. Morning games will start at 9.30am and recommence at 3.30pm. There will be eight playing areas and 40 participating teams. Sportsdreams is the company that, together with the Formentera Council, has coordinated the event.

Tourism

Councillor Ferrer explained that the tournament is part of Discover Formentera in May (Descobreix Formentera al Maig), a campaign to “expand the traditional season by proposing sports-related activities and other bonuses to off-season tourists”. Pointing to the sport’s popularity among Formentera’s Italian visitors, Ferrer said the Council hoped to entice tourists outside of the traditional summer season.

 

Bike race this Sunday

foto ciclismeThe Formentera Council (CiF) Office of Sport has announced to the delight of cyclists everywhere that the next home-grown bike tour is just around the bend. On Sunday, April 24, cyclists will compete in Ciclisme en Ruta Illa de Formentera, an event organised by the sports club Grup Esportiu Espalmador and which receives additional support from the CiF.

Fifty-some cycling enthusiasts have already signed up for the road cycling trial, which is set to begin at 10.30am in la Mola. However, the actual race doesn’t start in earnest until cyclists make it down the hill to Es Caló, where the official starting signal will be given. Riders will follow a straight shot from Es Caló to Sant Ferran before embarking on a quintuple loop around the lake and through Es Pujols, Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran. Cyclists will then make their way back up to la Mola to the town centre.

Federated cyclists have until Saturday night to register for the race on formenterasport365.com. Participants should bear in mind that any cyclist who falls more than five minutes behind the leading group will be disqualified. Intermittent traffic cuts will occur from 10.30am to 1.00pm to allow for the leading group’s passage.

Sports councillor Jordi Vidal thanked Formentera Local Police, the Guárdia Civil and the Guárdia Civil traffic officer for the assistance they will provide during the event. The councillor also gave thanks to volunteers from Civil Protection forces. According to Vidal, “our volunteers have made this event possible.” What is more, he underscored the importance of a road cycling race which, though once a regular occurrence, was only revived six years ago.

New sponsors jump on board for Formentera half marathon

Foto acord caixa bankThe Formentera Council has clinched an agreement with CaixaBank for sponsorship of the Mitja Marató, the island's half marathon. The Balearic director of CaixaBank, Xicu Costa, announced the terms of the agreement today after a morning meeting in the CiF plenary hall with CiF president Jaume Ferrer, sports councillor Jordi Vidal, director of the Sant Francesc Xavier branch of CaixaBank, Pep Marí, and race organiser Manuel Hernández.

Council president Ferrer thanked the bank officials and assured their help was “very important”. Ferrer also expressed his hope that the agreement be renewed in the years to come, adding: “What we want is for this race to continue in the long term.” Costa highlighted CaixaBank's commitment to promoting sport and called the bank's €35,000 sponsorship its biggest in the entire Balearic community. Costa too echoed hopes that the fledgling partnership continue in the future.

La Mitja Marató de Formentera will take place Saturday May 14. One thousand seven-hundred runners have already registered for the 21km circuit and 900 have signed up for the shorter, 8km race.

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