The athlete Javi Conde; the Paralympic skier Jon Santacana; Athletic Club de Bilbao football player Eunate Arraiza; Berritzeguneak, educational support service; Hegalak Sports Centre, and the ‘Mosaic of Sounds Project’ of the Spanish Association of Symphonic Orchestras, were the ‘The Inclusive Night’ prizewinners.
The Basque President Iñigo Urkullu-Renteria emphasised the GaituzSport Prizes symbolised the common determination for a fairer more inclusive society.
The Chairman of GaituzSport asked for, “the support of everyone and commitment of the public institutions, to undertake the necessary social change together.”
Basque society showed its support for sport and inclusion at ‘The Inclusive Night – Gau Inklusiboa’ at Euskalduna Palace, Bilbao, where the impressive institutional support shone.
The 3rd edition of ‘The Inclusive Night – Gau Inklusiboa’ was held at Euskalduna Palace, Bilbao on 3rd May, organised by the Basque Adapted Sports Federation GaituzSport Project with the collaboration of the Basque Government, Bizkaia Provincial Council, Bilbao City Council and Laboral Kutxa.
At this event presided by the Basque President, the GaituzSport prizes were handed out, which acknowledge the work people and bodies do via Physical Activity and Sports to achieve a fairer more equal and inclusive society.
This year’s edition of ‘The Inclusive Night’ can be considered the most inclusive due to the prizewinners’ merits, impressive support from the institutions, society and media. Furthermore, it could be followed live for the first time, via streaming and shared on social networks with the hashtag #gauinklusiboa.
The Basque President, Iñigo Urkullu-Renteria and his wife Lucía Arieta-Araunabeña, arrived punctually at the event, proved themselves once again to be a great example with their sensitivity and friendliness, support and commitment. They were greeted cordially by the Chairman of the Basque Adapted Sports Federation Chairman Porfirio Hernández-Zubizarreta and Xabier Leizea, GaituzSport Co-ordinator.
After the first official photo during the photocall, the authorities sat down and the event started.
The actress and actor Gurutze Beitia and Asier Hormaza, acting as masters of ceremonies with a great sense of humour welcomed the attendees. The Inclusive Night began with an example of inclusion via music with interpretation of the theme ‘The Largest Flower in the World’ composed by Emilio Aragón, for the ‘Mosaic of Sounds’ Project.
A performance of great sensitivity by the mentally disabled artists: Koro Alonso, on the piano; Mikel Martija dancer and Milagros Durana who recited the lyric; accompanied by the great Bilbao Symphony Orchestra (B.O.S.) violinist Cristina Vertiz.
Next, the event host Porfirio Hernández-Zubizarreta, Chairman of GaituzSport and the Basque Adapted Sports Federation, after the acknowledgements, stated in his participation that sport is a social inclusion channel. ‘At GaituzSport we work for everyone including those with a disability so they can take part in everyday activities as citizens with full rights.’
Asier Hormaza turned on the video of testimonies, which made clear why and for whom GaituzSport works.
GaituzSport Prizegiving Ceremony
The most anticipated moment of the night was the GaituzSport Prizegiving ceremony, where work, self-improvement and values of sport are acknowledged.
The GaituzSport Prize for adapted elite competition sport was for JON SANTACANA, Paralympic medallist in adapted skiing.
The Basque Parliament Speaker, Ms Bakartxo Tejeria, handed the prize to Jon Santacana. On expressing his gratitude for the prize, the skier asserted, “that true equality will arrive when we’re all ‘just’ sports people.”
HEGALAK SPORTS CENTRE was awarded the GaituzSport Prize for good inclusion practices in non-competitive sport.
Basque Government Minister Ms Beatriz Artolazabal gave the Prize to Jaione Izagirre, Hegalak Centre Manageress.
BERRITZEGUNEAK, EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES, received the GaituzSport Prize as the body which encourages inclusion values via physical activity.
The Basque Minister for Education Ms Cristina Uriarte received the prize from Carlos Oses, Laboral Kutxa Sales Area Director.
EUNATE ARRAIZA, Athletic Club de Bilbao football player, deaf from birth received the GaituzSport Prize for good inclusion practices in competitive sport.
The Bilbao City Sports & Youth Councillor, Ms Oihane Agirregoitia handed the prize to the footballer. Eunate expressed her gratitude for the prize and insisted on the message “we must keep fighting”.
The MOSAIC OF SOUNDS PROJECT of the Spanish Symphony Orchestra Association, (AEOS – http://www.aeos.es/asociacion.htm), was awarded the GaituzSport Prize for good inclusion practices outside the area of sports.
The Basque Minister for Culture Bingen Zupiria, handed the prize to Ibon Aranbarri, Managing Director of the BOS(https://bilbaorkestra.eus/en/), Oriol Roch, Managing Director of the OSE (https://en.euskadikoorkestra.eus/) and Mikel Cañada Project Co-ordinator.
The Special GaituzSport Prize for their career went to the great Bilbao athlete JAVI CONDE, in recognition of a sports career full of successes and his human values.
Ms Ana Otadui, President of the Bizkaia General Assembly handed the prize to Conde who highlighted, “that the current state of adapted Basque sports serves to provide greater visibility for the disabled.”
The Basque President’s intervention, “To foster sports practice for everyone”
During his intervention to finalise the event, the Basque President Iñigo Urkullu-Renteria, emphasised the GaituzSport Prizes symbolised the common determination for a fairer more inclusive society.
He also showed his support for GaituzSport stating that, “we join your goal, to foster sports practice among everyone and boost the social value of sport and physical activity.”
For an inclusive society
250 people from all works of life attended the event including the: Basque Parliament Speaker, Ms Bakartxo Tejeria; President of the Bizkaia General Assembly, Ms Ana Otadui; Basque Government Ministers: Ms Beatriz Artolazabal, for Employment & Social Policies; Bingen Zupiria, for Culture & Linguistic Policy, and Ms Cristina Uriarte, for Education; Deputy Minister for Social Policies, Ms Lide Amilibia, with Emilio Sola, Director of Social Services; Jon Redondo, Basque Government Sports Director. Bilbao City Councillors: Ms Oihane Agirregoitia, for Sports & Youth; Ms Yolanda Diez, for Health; Ms Beatriz Marcos, Luis Eguiluz, Ms Amaia Arenal, Ms Carmen Carrón, Bruno Zubizarreta, and Francisco Samir Lahdon del Arco.
Also attending: Ms Amaia del Campo, Barakaldo Mayoress, Mikel Torres, Portugalete Mayor and Josu Bergara, Sestao Mayor; Ana María de Castro-Rubalcaba, Director of Basque and Andoni Iturbe, Bizkaia Provincial Council Director of Culture; Ms Aitziber San Román, Donostia Social Action Councillor, Mikel Antizar, Barakaldo Social Action Councillor; José Ramón Taranco; Ms Raquel González, Chairwoman of Bizkaia PP and Basque Parliament Members: Ms Rebeka Ubera, Ms Josune Gorospe, Ms Nerea Llanos and Luis Uria.
Important people from all walks of life attended the most inclusive night, like: the musician Kepa Junkera; Dr Alfredo Antigüedad, Head of Neurology Department at Cruces University Hospital; the artist José Antonio Nielfa, La Otxoa; hairdresser and stylist Ms Yolanda Aberasturi; surfer Axi Muniain and athlete Jon Salvador; Athletic Club de Bilbao Directors, Ms Yolanda Lázaro and Ricardo Mendiguren, director of the Athletic Foundation; Isidro Elezgarai, Basque Country UNICEF Chairman; Natxo Lekunberri, Managing Director of Mutualia; Hugo Baroja, Chairman of FEVAS Plena Inclusión Euskadi(Basque NGO for inclusion of the intellectual/developmentally disabled – https://fevas.org/fevaspi), with Lucia Soria. Also supporting the event with their presence were: the journalist Ms Nekane Lauzirika and bloggers Ms Esmeralda Herlo and Josi Sierra in addition to a large number of people who share our goal of achieving an inclusive society where we all have the same opportunities, etc.
And after the photo of everyone, the presenters closed the event encouraging the attendees to enjoy a great cocktail with the music of D.J. Jaime Vilallonga.
Our THANKS to everyone and all the entities, who made ‘The Inclusive Night’, possible, an event that combines sport, inclusion, diversity, health and education.