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More grant money for sportsmanship and improved training

Signatura convenis esportsFormentera Council president Jaume Ferrer and Esperança Camps, minister of community involvement, transparency and culture of the Govern Balear, met today to sign an accord promoting sportsmanship among school children with a programme called Posam Valors a l’Esport (Putting the Sportsmanship in Sport). By signing the deal, the Govern and the Formentera Council (CiF) commit to provisioning the programme with €10,000 and €5,000 in funding, respectively. According to Ferrer, the Council will oversee the initiative, which will cover anything – from outreach and awareness campaigns to training courses – that emphasises good sportsmanship and the other traditional values inherent in sport.

The two officials signed an additional accord laying out the terms of a partnership between the Formentera Council and the Fundació per a l’Esport Balear. The goal of the partnership is to ensure the quality of local sports training. The programme will cover the year 2016, explained Ferrer, and «set in place high standards not only for our trainers but also for our local athletes».

To receive grant money, programme activities must take place between 1 January and 30 November 2016 and can include specific training sessions, travel to specific training sessions, nutrition, sports psychology, physiotherapy and training for sports specialists.

In order to achieve the targets of the partnership, the Council has committed to coming up with a procedure to determine the eligibility of specific programmes and allocate funding; draft a set of criteria for eligible sportsmen and women and trainers; setting up a committee to review applications. The committee will have an oversight role for the different programmes and will ensure proper documentation proving eligibility is provided.

In another move to assure the goals of the partnership are met, the Fundació has committed to contributing technical advice, €10,000 in funding and a staff specialist from the Fundació to serve on the oversight committee.

Councillor of sport Jordi Vidal was also present at the signing of the accord. He explained the subsidies will apply to tennis players as well as participants in athletics and judo. Camps declared her satisfaction at being able to take part in the partnership, a way of chipping away at Formentera’s de facto geographic isolation and promoting sports and sportsmanship

On your marks: sports events take off in Formentera

RP prova BTT premsaEarlier today the Formentera Council (CiF) announced details about the mountain bike competition Non Stop Tracks. Slated to get under way next Sunday 7 February, the El Club Trideporte-organised event has so far secured commitment from 180 participants (60 of whom hail from mainland Spain). According to sports department head Jordi Vidal, the CiF hopes to see that number at 200 by Sunday.

Non Stop Tracks will be the first trial of the 2016 sports calendar. As Vidal noted, the event and others like it are a way to get people taking pleasure in sport – and if it can happen before the start of the high summer season, all the better. The CiF councillor of sport was also sure to thank Formentera local police, the Guárdia Civil, civil protection services and other volunteers for helping make the race safe for all those participating.

Long race starts and ends in la Savina

Organiser Fátima Blazquez was on hand at the morning press conference to relate event details. «The longer race is 85 km and will start at 10:30 a.m. Sunday in la Savina. The shorter one is 45 km and will begin at 12 noon in Sant Francesc», she said. Both races have their finish line in la Savina, though to get there the circuits snake around the island, «making sure participating cyclists get a chance to take in the natural beauty of the island», Blazquez added.

Organisers hope the event – now in its second year – continues to gain participants and momentum. Registration costs €10 and can be done online at www.elitechip.net. Blazquez noted a team of more than 50 helpers will be there to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. She thanked the Council for its help, «both with logistics and prizes for participants». On race day, road closures will be kept to a minimum (approximately five minutes) and will affect only secondary roads.

Pupils of island learn value of aid

Conferencia Solidaritat premsaEarlier today, the 515 pupils of Formentera’s three primary schools all attended a talk entitled Aid and solidarity in the Third World by Javier Colomo, president of the NGO Amigos Solidarios. The talk was given three times at the Sant Francesc cinema. Councillor of sport Jordi Vidal explained, «the children were able to get an in-depth look at what aid and solidarity are all about, and learn how they can get involved and help out the less fortunate».

Tomorrow’s talk open to all audiences

Tomorrow, Friday 22 January, the same conference will be given to students of the IES Marc Ferrer secondary school. Later on, another version of the same talk – this time open to the public – is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in the Casal d’Entitats. The CiF office of sports has organised the Solidarity and aid conference as part of Esport és més (Sport is more), a campaign to promote the positive values of sport sponsored by the Council and Govern Balear. The goal of the initiative is to «encourage participation in sports as a way for young people to stay healthy, develop character and grow socially».

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.

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