President Urkullu chaired “The Inclusive Night” and GaituzSport Prize giving ceremony, in Vitoria – Gasteiz
- Successful attendance, institutional, social and media support for “The Inclusive Night – Gau Inklusiboa” held at Artium Museum. The winners of the GaituzSport Awards were: the Federación Alavesa de Tenis de Mesa, Asociación Montes Solidarios, Basqueteam, Kukai Dantza Taldea, Mutualia and Julio Roca.
- The Basque President highlighted that the GaituzSport Project “acknowledge sports values. You’re an example for society as a whole”.
- The Chairman of the Basque Adapted Sports Federation asked everyone to collaborate in achieving more inclusive society.
The Basque Adapted Sports Federation with its GaituzSport project in collaboration with Zuzenak, held “The Inclusive Night – Gau Inklusiboa” on 15th June in Artium Museum in Vitoria-Gasteiz. The GaituzSport Prizes were awarded during the event.
The aim of this meeting presided over by President Iñigo Urkullu, was to acknowledge and drive the work done by people and bodies via Physical Activity and Sport to achieve a fairer more equal inclusive society. In this edition the prizewinners were: Federación Alavesa de Tenis de Mesa, Asociación Montes Solidarios, BAT BASQUETEAM, Kukai Dantza Taldea, Mutualia and Julio Roca.
“Gau Inklusiboa” received great institutional support with the Basque Parliament speaker, Bakartxo Tejeria; Araba Chief Provincial Executive, Ramiro González Vicente; Mayor of Vitoria – Gasteiz, Gorka Urtaran; the Employment and Social Policies Minister Beatriz Artolazabal and Pedro Elosegi, General Assembly of Araba Chief Executive.
Also present were: the Deputy Minister of Social Polices, Lide Amilibia; and the Araba Provincial Councillors for Social Services and Environment, Marian Olabarrieta and Josean Galera, and Basque parliament members: Eba Blanco, Rebeka Ubera, Gloria Sánchez, Mari Carmen López de Ocáriz, Javier Ruiz de Arbulo and Edurne García.
The following attended in support of inclusive adapted sport: José Antonio de la Rica Giménez, BAC Health Co-ordinator Partner; Emilio Sola, Director of the Basque Government Social Services; Jon Redondo, Director of the Basque Government Physical Activity and Sport; Vitoria-Gasteiz Councillors Estibaliz Canto, Leticia Comerón, and Oscar Fernández; Bilbao City Councillor Beatriz Marcos and Barakaldo Councillor Mikel Antizar, among others.
President Urkullu and his wife Lucia Arieta – Araunabeña arrived punctually with their characteristic open friendliness and were received by the Chairman of the Basque Adapted Sports Federation, Porfirio Hernández Zubizarreta and GaituzSport Co-ordinator Xabier Leizea, together with the authorities.
After the formal greetings and official photo, with great expectation, the media and the hall replete with attendees the night began with a magnificent performance by Jon Maya, Kukai Dantza Taldea dancer, choreographer and director.
The event presenters Estibaliz Ruiz de Azua and Aitor Buendia welcomed the attendees explaining “the prizes recognised the work people and bodies were doing to achieve a more inclusive society, since despite being in the 21st century and our Basque society being advanced, there was still a lot to be done. Nevertheless, as you will see this evening we’re on the right road”.
After thanking the sponsors: Basque Government, Araba Provincial Council, Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council and Laboral Kutxa; likewise the collaborators for making this event possible, Estibaliz invited Porfirio Hernández Zubizarreta, chairman of the Basque Adapted Sport Federation on to the stage as the evening’s host, whom she introduced as a man who “knows a lot about psychiatry, sport and life”.
“INCLUSION as a way of advancing in this modern society”
During his intervention, Porfirio thanked everyone for attending and then addressed the Basque President because “right from the word go you have encouraged and driven us to go ahead with this challenge, which is undoubtedly ambitious”.
The Chairman explained the work carried out at GaituzSport “we’re going to present what we’ve called pilot projects. Specific realities and “on site” which help us overcome hypotheses and theoretical suppositions to demonstrate we’re talking about real tangible actions that favour inclusive society development through physical activity and sport, or what we call MAKING SOCIAL”.
Hernández Zubizarreta requested the collaboration of everyone present to achieve an inclusive society, i.e. “The inclusion of groups which for one reason or another society overlooks and on occasion rejects”.
Video summary with the GaituzSport PROJECTS
After the Chairman’s speech a video summary of the activities carried out by GaituzSport Project in the last year was screened. Their Co-ordinator Xabier Leizea reported that the areas of GaituzSport action are: municipal, health, education and associative; and the four cross-cutting strategies: training, research, awareness and R+D+i. GaituzSport, stated Leizea ”works to build an inclusive society where there are equal opportunities for each and every one”.
PRIZE Giving Ceremony
The moment most looked forward to of the evening was the prize giving ceremony, which was very moving. The presenters invited the representatives of Gaztedi Rugby Taldea on to the stage who received the first GaituzSport Award for inclusive sport at the last edition held in Donostia.
The GaituzSport award for good inclusion practices in sport this year was for the Federación Alavesa de Tenis de Mesa. People with and without functional diversity compete together and training sessions are organised according to level not gender or disability, so people with functional diversity get to play in the regular table tennis leagues, thereby achieving true inclusion and integration. Gaztedi Rugby Talde gave them the prize which was collected by Itxaso Carrillo, chairwoman of the Federación Tenis Mesa accompanied by two young sportsmen, Asier and Iker.
The Asociación Montes Solidarios was given the GaituzSport award for good non-competitive physical activity, in recognition of their work in fostering and organising mountain activities aimed at people with functional diversity, so they can take part and enjoy in equal conditions. Beatriz Artolazabal, the Employment and Social Policies Minister gave the award to Yosu Vázquez, chairman of the Association.
The BAT BASQUETEAM received the Competitive Adapted Sports prize, for the great work done providing non-professional Basque sportspeople with resources to facilitate their participation in elite international sports competitions. The sportspeople Tania Castillo, a promising young athlete, twice Spanish Cross-country Champion is already thinking about Tokyo Olympics 2020; and Aitor Francesena Gallo, world adapted surf champion gave the award to Olatz Legarza, the BASQUETEAM General Co-ordinator.
The GaituzSport award for good inclusive practices outside sports, for their social awareness work using dance as an inclusion tool was given to KUKAI DANTZA TALDEA. Luis Daniel Bernal, Araba Director of Laboral Kutxa gave the prize to Jon Maya, company director accompanied by Nagore Martínez.
Mutualia, received the GaituzSport award for the body which fosters inclusion values through Physical Activity and Sports when seeking the health and quality of life of people who have a suffered a disability due to an industrial accident or professional illness. Gorka Urtaran, Mayor of Vitoria-Gasteiz handed the prize to Natxo Lekunberri, Mutualia Managing Director and Jose María Etzarri, vice-chairman.
And the special GaituzSport award for track record went to Julio Roca, in recognition and acknowledgement for his dedication and effort to a life dedicated to adapted sport and bringing awareness of the needs of people with functional diversity. He was born in Vitoria-Gasteiz in 1960 and affected by polio since 9 months of age, he knows what it is like to overcome adversities; and has been linked to Zuzenak, since it began in 1980, a non-profit-making sports body working to foster and manage sports for the disabled in Araba.
Julio Roca, was unable to collect the award for health reasons; however, he sent his thanks via video, where with his words, humour and irony he demonstrated yet again his capacity to overcome obstacles and his desire to continue working for inclusive sport in. Rubén Martínez, Zuzenak sports director received the prize on behalf of Julio from the Araba Chief Executive, Ramiro González.
Next Aitor Buendía invited President Iñigo Urkullu to say a few words to conclude this great night of inclusion and values.
The Basque PRESIDENT’s Intervention: “you’re an example for society as a whole”
President Iñigo Urkullu addressed the attendees declaring that “the inclusive night is the practical form of the aims of the Basque Adapted Sports Federation. I both share and commit myself to your aims”.
He then stated that “today we wanted to be with you and tell you that your example helps thousands of people to take up sports”.
Urkullu added “we want to drive an inclusive society with equal conditions and opportunities for everybody. An open diversity friendly society. We shall continue to foster the values of sports practice, participation and inclusion. This is a common asset that is worth continuing to work towards together”.
The Basque President expressed his support for GaituzSport “it’s social innovation project which acknowledges sport and the commitment of many people, you’re an example for society as a whole”.
The event finished with the traditional family photo. Next year’s edition will be held in Bilbao, but that’s another ‘story’…
Our thanks to everyone for their awareness and support which have made “The Inclusive Night – Gau Inklusiboa” possible.