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Laietà, the club where it all started

Laietà, the club where it all started

The Club Esportiu Laietà is happy. Barely three months into the year of his centenary, he entered the FEB Hall of Fame (on October 21 at the Cartuja Stadium, Seville) for his incalculable contribution to basketball in Spain. Now in Les Corts, a historic neighborhood in the heart of Barcelona, ​​entering Laietà (the Laietans were one of the first settlers in the province, always pioneers) gives peace. There they receive AS Jaume Riera, its president, and Josep Manel Gurrera, manager, to take a trip through a story that leads to that Hall of Fame gala that will be held on October 21 at the Cartuja Stadium (Seville) . “For the club it will be a fantastic boost; we will organize all kinds of activities”Gurrera congratulates himself. The Laietá was not always in the Carrer Pintor Ribalta. Its origins are in the Eixample, in Viladomat below Provença.

The fire lit it up Father Millán, a Piarist, who returned fascinated by a sport that he had discovered on a long trip through the United States and Cuba, where the American soldiers played. It was basketball. Laietà is the oldest club thanks to the initiative of a group of former students of the Piarists who decided to found the Laietà Basketball Club. The president and founder was Ricard Pardinyes i Bonet. The players took it so seriously that they trained from six to nine in the morning, before going to work. Laietà is not only the first club in the history of basketball in Spain, also the one who played the first game, against Europa, on December 8, 1922, in the Gràcia neighborhood. “The baskets were hanging from the goals. It was played with the dimensions of a football field, games of eleven against eleven. The players ended up busted … “. The Laietà lived its glory years in the postwar period. In 1942 and 1944 he was champion of the Cup.

The hundred years of Laietà acquire more value if it is noticed that he was able to overcome serious financial problems and an eviction from his old headquarters in Viladomat. His partners kept him afloat as best they could, and the Pare Mañanet school and the Pompeia tennis club gave shelter to their sections so that he did not disappear. In 1967 he saw the light again in Les Corts, changed its name (Club Esportiu Laietà) and was able to organize a happy Golden Jubilee, a match against the Spanish National Team included in a court that still survives and that we step on with those responsible. Today, the Laietà, a few meters from the Camp Nou facilities, it is a sports club that also trains tennis players and shows its familiarity. He has also incorporated paddle tennis into his activities. It is the most demanded.

Abandoned the idea of ​​fighting with the giants of basketball, Laietà has been dedicated to training for many years. “This is a close club, as our slogan says: sport and family”, explains Josep Manel Guerra. These days, Laietà has 13 teams and three schools: Laietà, Pau Romeva and Montessori. In total, 201 kids and 23 coaches. The senior team plays in the Primera Catalana. The club is a barn for the grown-ups, but history belongs to them. “Caminant junts cap al Centenari”.

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