The 3rd Catalan Week of Sport, organised by the General Secretariat for Sport and Physical Activity (Esportcat) of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Union of Sports Federations of Catalonia (UFEC), held its main event this Friday at CaixaForum in Barcelona. The Minister for the Presidency, Laura Vilagrà, and the president of the UFEC, Gerard Esteva, presided over the closing event after a month of competitions in 45 different sports throughout Catalonia.
The day served to bring to a close an event that ends this Sunday, 9 July, and which continues to work, year after year, to promote the international reputation of Catalonia’s national teams and parity in the world of sport. The proceedings featured the Girona Theatre Choir group, followed by a parade of flags of the countries that have taken part in the competitions over the last few days.
Laura Vilagrà, Minister for the Presidency, stated that “the alliance between the Catalan Government and the UFEC, the local community and Catalan federations and clubs has been a formula for success” during Catalan Week, which has allowed “our sportspeople to wear the Catalan shirt with pride, living and competing with delegations from all over the world”. “Under normal conditions, as Catalonia should be able to do in an official way in any sport and around the whole world”, she added.
The Minister also stressed that the event has been a “boost to women’s sport”, through competitions where “our sportswomen have had the prominence they deserve” competing with national teams in many sports. This, she said, was one of the Catalan Government’s objectives within the framework of “the legislature of women’s sport”. According to Laura Vilagrà, the Catalan Week of Sport has shown that “clubs and federations are the basis of the Catalan sport system, which helps to build and structure Catalonia as a sporting country with its very own DNA”. The Minister was accompanied by the Secretary General for Sport and Physical Activity, Anna Caula.
For his part, Gerard Esteva, president of the UFEC, gave a positive assessment of the third edition of the Week, which broke records of participation and achieved the objectives set. “We have demonstrated our organisational capacity and shown that Catalonia is the best sporting country in the world. We have strengthened our complicity with federations all over the world and our athletes and our national teams have been able to demonstrate their abilities”, he said.
Esteva insisted that during the event “we have shown that we are a power known for the organisational excellence of our federations” and assured that “this year we have given a boost to Catalan Week because we want it to be the leading unofficial international sporting event in every sense”.
Recognition for the promotion of Catalan sport and the promotion of the language
During the closing ceremony, four prizes were awarded. The first of these was the Pompeu Fabra Award for the entity with the greatest commitment to promoting the use of Catalan in sport, which went to FC Barcelona and its involvement in the “L’esport treu la llengua” campaign, promoted by the UFEC and Òmnium Cultural.
The David Moner Award, which is granted to the foreign entity that has collaborated the most in the promotion of Catalan sport, went to the delegation from the Czech Republic. The award was collected by Jaime Martín Puchol, Consul of the Czech Republic in Barcelona.
The Ramon Basiana Award, which is given to an entity that promotes the internationalisation of its sport, was awarded to the Catalan Bowling Federation, while the Dolors Vives Award, which is for the entity or person with the greatest commitment to the internationalisation of Catalan women’s sport, went to the roller hockey player Anna Casarramona.
This third edition of Catalan Week of Sport featured competitions in sports such as roller hockey, volleyball, athletics, cycling, motorcycling and boxing, among others, and brought together more than 4,000 sportspeople (2,000 from outside Catalonia) from 48 countries around the world.