“São Vicente is the island that least bets on sports” – Ralão

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“São Vicente is the island that least bets on sports” – Ralão
“São Vicente is the island that least bets on sports” – Ralão

Africa-Press – Cape verde. Carlos Jorge Fortes Silva, “Ralão”, founder of Vólei Farense, a club from São Vicente, argues that the speech that there are no financial resources for sports infrastructure can no longer be used as an “excuse”.

Neither by the Government nor by the municipal councils. Referring to the case of São Vicente, he has no doubts: “The situation is a pity”. C arlos Jorge Fortes Silva, 49, is a former soccer and volleyball player.

He is the founder and coach of the Farense volleyball team, in the mini and senior categories. Trained as a machine engineer, he has been teaching physics at Escola Secundária Jorge Barbosa for 19 years.

However, as he tells A NAÇÃO, being a sports lover, he never left the sector. That is, he took trainings in coaching level one and two, sports management, refereeing and many other trainings, all related to volleyball.

As he also mentions, the idea of ​​founding the Volleyball team at Farense resulted, firstly, from an agreement between the Cape Verdean Volleyball Federation and the African Volleyball Confederation, whose purpose was to co-finance mini volleyball projects throughout the continent, but later this support was suspended, but that did not give up.

“I was a veteran football player at Farense, so I decided to present the idea to the president after they suspended the support of the African Volleyball Confederation, the president accepted as long as I coordinated the team, based on that, we proceeded and currently have support from the coach Miguel Alves and assistant captain Jacira Monteiro”.

In 2015, the Farense women’s mini-volleyball team was born, comprising children from 6 to 14 years old, as well as the senior team, in 2016, formed by young people from 15 to 18 years old.

A project that, as he says, was well accepted and he believes that it has been successful, although they have not yet had the opportunity to go to national championships due to the covid-19 pandemic. Lack of sports infrastructure

From the point of view of the interviewee from A NAÇÃO, the lack or improvement of sports infrastructure in the country has been conditioning and even making the development of professionals in the field of sport unfeasible.

He points to the particular situation of São Vicente as an example, which he considers a “pity” and, in some cases, in clear contrast with what is happening in other parts of the country, particularly the city of Praia.

“In São Vicente, the situation of the sports infrastructure is a pity, there is much to be done.

In the Chã de Alecrim field, there was a wall that fell and until today it has never been repaired, the Bela Vista field has been closed for a long time, the pavilion in the north area has been under construction for ten years, there is no grass field with lighting, with the exception of the Internship Center and Campo Novo.

On other islands, all grass fields in neighborhoods have lighting and longer hours of use. The city of Praia is an example, all grass fields have lighting with extended opening hours”.

For Ralão, it is not surprising that São Vicente is losing the sporting competitiveness it once had. From his point of view, “what is missing is a State, a Chamber that is truly committed to sport and that helps clubs to do their job”.

“Sport is not taken seriously in Cape Verde by our leaders”, he continues in his outburst.

“In the case of São Vicente, we have a City Council that is practically inoperative in relation to sport.

If we look at it, most people who dedicate themselves to sport are on a voluntary basis, that is, they are people who, instead of spending two or three hours of their time with their family or developing other activities and having an extra income , dedicate that time to sport because they love this activity”.

Ralão believes that Cape Verde “has excellent conditions for us to advance in sport, with the appropriate biotype, and more and more people are enjoying and training in this area”, but unfortunately, they come up against the absence of an assertive policy for the sector.

In this, their criticisms are directed both at the Government and at local authorities. “The lack of financial resources for sports infrastructure can no longer be used as an excuse. Wanting, with a more attentive and sport-oriented policy, the money would appear”, he concludes .

According to data from the National Statistics Institute, the municipality of São Vicente, compared to some of the other municipalities in the country, has low percentages in terms of the practice of sport.

This is a picture that, in Ralão’s words, is repeated both in schools and in federations/competitions. That sports activist also believes that changes (or improvements) should start with schools.

These should be equipped with conditions for the practice of sport, not least because, as the popular saying goes, “the cucumber is twisted from a small child”.

To solve this problem, Ralão points to the Jorge Barbosa Secondary School as a reference, since, with few resources and with the establishment of partnerships, it has been “striving” to change the unsatisfactory scenario existing in the sector.

“Currently, ‘Jorge Barbosa’ has a pavilion that is open practically every day, from 7 am to 11 pm.

We managed to place 10 LED floodlights in the pavilion and in partnership with the International Volleyball Federation, through the Cape Verdean Federation, we got a new synthetic floor, this being the second school in Cape Verde to receive a synthetic floor”, he says.

This fact, according to Ralão, proves that, with will, effort and dedication, it is possible to go far in sport, but that first it is necessary to “bet on basic conditions”, something that is not always seen, namely in São Vicente.

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