Plated: “We cannot stand still waiting for the storm to pass”

Raúl Chapado, president of the Royal Spanish Athletics Federation (RFEA), attended the presentation of the virtual solidarity race ‘Run for La Palma’. There he spoke with EFE about the current situation that his sport is going through and the challenges that lie ahead.

Questions: Are you happy that athletics can help La Palma in some way?

Answer: The situation that the palmeros are experiencing is complicated. We also know it first hand because we organize many events there. In fact, we are scheduled to host a European Trail Running Championships in El Paso in July. We are in contact with them, we have sent a humanitarian aid shipment just twenty days ago with more than four pallets of clothes to help us. When they called us from ‘Run for La Palma’ we said we had to be here helping them. It is very important that sport comes together without thinking only about the economic part, also the emotional one. It has to be a transversal axis in the recovery.

Q: Talk about that international championship next year. Do you think it can be held normally?

A: We have an agreement with the European federation and we have decided that in February we will assess how the situation is. In no case is La Palma going to lose, because we would do a permutation, but the authorities tell us that if it can be done it is important because it is a way of teaching the world that tourism can return and that normality can be restored through sport . Our intention is to organize it and if it is not possible due to physical reasons, surely that championship will not be lost and we will have it two years later.

Q: A reduction in the federation’s budget has been announced. How do they live it?

A: We knew it was going to be a very difficult year. We have had all the sports activities much more expensive because it has been very difficult to travel. In a sport where our expeditions can be of one hundred people we could not find airplanes, the tickets that were worth one hundred and fifty euros were worth a thousand … In addition there has been less contribution for the preparation and yet we have had fifty-seven athletes in the Games and a very high international activity. On the other hand, we have not recovered a certain normality in income by not being able to sell tickets in the most important competitions. All that affects but the federation will be there to solve what other organizations cannot do and if we have the debt, we will assume it. But we had to help clubs, federations, athletes and from there we have not withdrawn a single euro. The money can be amortized but the loss of tissue takes many years to recover. Still the viability of the federation is guaranteed.

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Q: Is it a controlled debt?

A: Yes, but at the same time I think you have to take risks. There comes a time when the world of sports has to transform itself in the way it is managed, marketed and disseminated. There the digital field is going to be key and we are in this project. It involves an economic effort something but to have a return. We cannot stand still waiting for the storm to pass because we will be in the caboose of what is to come. We have to be quick to adapt and we have to offer Spanish athletics a better product, better services, a different way of relating to us.

Q: Are you concerned that the situation could affect sports results?

A: No. I am concerned that after an extraordinary year that the message is that we have to tighten our belts for their preparation when we should send the message that they have had an exceptional year and we should help them even more. I hope that the appropriate measures are taken because we are also very dependent on public funding.

The race ‘Run for La Palma’ opens “a series of initiatives” promoted by the CSD to help the island

The president of the Higher Sports Council, José Manuel Franco, has announced the launch of “a series of initiatives” from the body I publish to help the island of La Palma, starting next month with ‘Run for La Palma’, a virtual career whose proceeds will go entirely to the Red Cross.

“Sport is competition and success, but above all it is the transmission of values ​​such as solidarity. This is the beginning of a path that the CSD is going to start in favor of the inhabitants of La Palma. We are going to carry out a series of initiatives in favor of the island and the whole world of sport is invited to participate in this unparalleled humanitarian work. Sport could not remain oblivious to what is happening on La Palma. We are going to demonstrate the movement by walking, running and cycling, “Franco pointed out.

The CSD headquarters hosted the presentation of ‘Run for La Palma’, carrera that will take place in virtual format from November 26 to 28. Registrations are already open on the website ‘www.correporlapalma.es’ with a price of 6 euros for any of the three planned modalities: 5 or 10 kilometers on foot and 25 kilometers by bicycle. In addition, a ‘zero row’ has been enabled to make donations without having to run. All profits will go to the Red Cross, which has deployed in La Palma a device of more than 200 volunteers to alleviate the consequences of the volcanic eruption, according to the general secretary of the organization, Leopoldo Pérez.

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