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Sign-ups for classes at municipal pool start Wednesday, August 10

natacioThe Formentera Council's Office of Sport has announced the start of registration, next Wednesday, August 10, for the municipal pool's 2016-2017 round of swimming classes. All those interested have got until August 29 to sign up at the Antoni Blanc sports centre.

Learning groups will include: two groups of year-plus infants; 25 groups of children aged three to twelve, divided into five levels; nine groups of children 12 and up; one group of expecting mothers; three groups for Aqua Fitness and one easy gymnastics group. All told, it is hoped that some 110 adults and 200 newborns, infants and youth will participate.

Classes will be in the afternoon, Monday through Friday. Most will last 45 minutes, though some classes for adults will meet only for a half-hour. Classes begin September 12 and run the length of the school year.

Pupils awarded certificates for school swimming classes

Diplomes piscinaThe Formentera Council Office of Sport has announced that tomorrow, June 22, report cards and medals will be handed out to island students for participation in swimming classes during the 2015-2016 school year. Three hundred pupils, from primary schools Mestre Lluís Andreu, Virgen Milagrosa and El Pilar de la Mola, got swimming instruction under the programme. Others, Mestre Lluís and IES Marc Ferrer students who participated in adapted swimming, have received their awards over the last few days.

The classes went all year, from September to June, in once-a-week 30-minute sessions at the municipal pool. Organisers are hoping to push forward next year with even higher quality instruction; with an eye to expanding work on basic motor skills, classes will be lengthened 15 minutes. Swimming instruction is offered to early-learning students in stages of motor skill development, a process which is underpinned by movement both on land and in water.

Council and sailing school operators scrap partnership

foto windsurfThe Formentera Council and 4 nómadas, the company that held the contract to operate Formentera's municipal sailing school, have reached a mutual agreement to dissolve the concessions contract in place until today. Though the four-year pact wasn't set to expire until January 2017, CiF sports councillor Jordi Vidal invoked “a split over the funding terms laid out in the contract which was originally signed by both parties”. The agreement came with provisions for 90 thousand euros in funding, VAT included.

The sports councillor lamented the break with the school's director Asier Fernández and its staff. He assured the Council would continue offering municipal sailing instruction, but added that “whether the Council will assure the service directly or contract it out to a third party remains to be seen.” The current change is only temporary, and the Council has already taken steps to build a new sailing school. Construction of a forthcoming nautical sports centre is being planned 50 metres from the site of the old school, on a wood platform at the start of carrer Almadrava. What's more, this winter the administration acquired windsurf gear for use in competitive meets, and is currently awaiting delivery of sailing and windsurf material for beginners.

Council puts money behind diving courses

Foto ajudes cursos busseigSports councillor Jordi Vidal reported today on a partnership agreement between Vellmarí diving school and the administration to fund diving instruction for Formentera residents. Vidal used a morning press conference, attended by school director Manu Sán Felix and CiF environment councillor, as the forum for the announcement.

Councillor Vidal laid out the Council's plan to foot 50 per cent —up to 7,000 euros— of residents' diving course costs. Residents under 17 will not only qualify for the Council's 50-per cent subsidy, they will have the opportunity to benefit from an additional 25 per cent reduction thanks to Vellmarí. In all, locals above 17 will pay 100 euros and younger students will pay 75. The aim, as Vidal pointed out, is to encourage diving among locals.

The partnership has been in place between Vellmarí and the Council for more than a decade. Thanks to the initiative, more than 650 Formentera locals have been introduced to the world of diving. According to Sán Felix, an additional 50 to 80 will be able to discover diving thanks to this year's reduced fees. The councillor of environment underscored the importance of “educating and instructing Formentera residents about the vast wealth contained in our underwater world and the nearby posidonia seagrass prairies”.

Formentera beats drum about island's first Yoga Day

Presentacio Yoga DayThe CiF councillor of sport, Jordi Vidal, met today with local Yoga Day organiser Flor Mauger to unveil the activities programme on a week-long event that kicks off tomorrow, Friday June 17, and doesn't finish until International Yoga Day, next Tuesday. Mauger is joined by five of the island's resident yoga instructors —Suzanne Laier, Claudio Valdiserri, Irina Zadek, Olga Dargel and Eva Oller— in organising a programme packed with free, open-to-the-public activities for kids and adults.

Marking the start of the programme, tomorrow at 8.30pm, will be a photo exhibit by Guillermo Ferrer Torres titled Viu feliç al teu ecosistema (Living happily in your ecosystem). The exhibit will be displayed at Centre Antoni Tur “Gabrielet” and will conclude with a video screening. Back at Gabrielet on Saturday and Monday, June 18 and 20, the crew of yoga instructors will be on hand through early afternoon until two and then again in the evening with information about the manifold variants of yoga that exist. The evening programme on these days also includes video screenings.

Yoga Day
Tuesday, June 21, is finally the big day. From nine in the morning till ten at night, activities for both children and adults will be hosted in Jardí de Ses Eres (behind the Sant Francesc church) and at Centre Gabrielet. During the day events range from practice-based classes to yoga-themed talks, with, in between, snack times stacked with naturally-prepared treats and musical performances. All the activities are free, but all donations received will go to assisting the people of Nepal.

Yoga Day has also had the support of the Formentera Council, which provided logistical assistance in addition to help designing brochures and posters and paying for T-shirts given to Yoga Day participants. The total cost was roughly 3,500 euros.

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