“The Inclusive Night”, acknowledgement of sport as a social integration channel
The Basque Adapted Sports Federation under its GaituzSport Project has organised a new edition of “The Inclusive Night – Gau Inklusiboa”, to be held at Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao on 3rd May.
The GaituzSport Prizes, which acknowledge the exemplary work of people and bodies to achieve a more inclusive society using the promotion of sports as a social integration channel, will be given out. The people and bodies acknowledge in this edition are:
1.- EUNATE ARRAIZA, Athletic Club de Bilbao football player, GaituzSport Prize for good inclusion practices in competition sport.
She is currently the only deaf professional football player. Eunate’s (born in Biurrun – Alcoz on 3rd June 1991) story, is one of personal improvement and a great example for many people.
She had a cochlear implant fitted when she was 8, which allows her to hear the referee’s whistle and her team mates. Prior to that she played with a box type hearing aid, although for the last 3 years she has been using a more modern system, which helps matters.
After training with Langunak, Eunate is in her 6th year with Athletic Club de Bilbao. “When I’m playing football, I’m just another player” Although she admits it requires three times the effort.
Last year she achieved another dream, i.e. she made her debut with the absolute selection, a reward for her effort and self-improvement.
2.- HEGALAK SPORTS CENTRE. GaituzSport prize for good inclusive practices in non-competitive sport.
Hegalak Sports Centre built on the Concha Beach in Donostia – San Sebastián, has been a reference space, since its opening in June 2012, in the practice of sports and physical activity, its installations and the inclusion concept. Disabled and abled-bodied people enjoy doing physical activity in equal conditions.
This is the first sports centre to receive the AENOR stamp for universal accessibility, which ensures its installations and services are accessible for people with functional diversity, i.e. everybody.
Hegalak Centre is made up of a team of professionals from different areas working in co-ordination to provide an integral service, attending to each person’s diversity.
3.- BERRITZEGUNEAK, EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES, GaituzSport Prize for a body which fosters inclusion values via physical activity.
The Berritzegunes, configured as support services are educational instruments for innovation and improvement in education. Its action framework includes all teaching centres in the Basque Country both private and public.
Physical Education is undergoing a process of great transformation and valuation as a social transference tool, of inclusive values. This change has been possible thanks to the work and contribution from the Berritzguneak network professionals in recent years.
4.- MOSAIC OF SOUNDS PROJECT of the Spanish Symphony Orchestra Association (AEOS), GaituzSport Prize for good inclusion practices outside the area of sports.
“Mosaic of Sounds”, is a social inclusion project via music for people with intellectual disability. An AEOS project whose origin lies with the Euskadi Symphony Orchestra (OSE) activities and workshops for people with functional disability that started in 2009.
The aim is for people from vulnerable social sectors to benefit, with emphasis on transforming symphonic orchestras into constructive social agents with a strong sense of social responsibility.
14 orchestras have collaborated with the Project; and the Bilbao and Euskadi Symphony Orchestras took part in the Basque Country working with the intellectually disabled from some of the FEVAS Plena Inclusión Euskadi (Basque NGO for inclusion of the intellectual/developmentally disabled – https://fevas.org/fevaspi) Associations, to carry out a ‘Mosaic’ of inclusion, diversity, culture and leisure.
Since its beginnings the Mosaic of Sounds Project has brought music into contact with the intellectually disabled with concerts throughout Spain.
5.- JON SANTACANA, Paralympic Medallist in adapting skiing. GaituzSport Prize for elite competition adapted sport.
5% vision has not prevented Jon Santacana Maizategui (San Sebastián, 1980), from achieving his goals. At 8 he was diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, a genetic disease affecting the retina, which would change his life.
Santacana is the most honoured Spanish Paralympic skier with 9 Paralympic medals. The last, a silver one won at the recent Winter Olympics at Pyenongchang, with his guide, Miguel Galindo. A supreme example of effort and self-improvement via elite sport.
6.- JAVI CONDE, special GaituzSport Prize for a career in sports and physical activity.
Javi Conde, an athlete born in Bilbao on 14th July 1964 and residing in Basauri, is a Paralympic champion and world record holder with a long career filled with successes.
Conde is the all-time best Basque Paralympic athlete; in his category nobody has ever beaten his records at national, European or world level.
In addition, he is the first sportsman worldwide to run and finish a marathon in the 29 city HQs of the Olympic Games and Paralympics. The GaituzSport Prize for his career, not only acknowledges his professional achievements but also highlights his great human quality; his self-improvement, solidarity and humbleness values. He has always combined his effort with the visibility of the disabled and their needs. For Conde “we, the disabled are capable of achieving our dreams”. Today, he continues to be an example and offer opportunities at the Javi Conde Athletics Club in Basauri adapted for sportspeople with different abilities.
For an inclusive society
The Prizewinning sportsmen, sportswomen and bodies, all contribute in each of their areas to achieve the goals of GaituzSport, i.e. to build an inclusive society which respects diversity and encourages the practice of Physical Activity and Sports among the disabled and able-bodied in equal conditions, improving their quality of life, health and social integration.