The Canarians really like their sports. Even if they have stopped practising as they got older, they do make sure their kids have a sport they love. Amongst the boys the Number One favourite activity is, of course, football.
In Maspalomas alone, where my youngest plays football, are two different football clubs in the same age group at the same time and week day. And each of those has an A and B team. I am talking of the four football camps near Pepe Chiringo! Additionally, the two private schools in the Mapalomas area have a team each and almost every village in the municipality.
If we take the whole of Gran Canaria into consideration and including all the kids and veteran teams, there are probably hundreds of different football teams playing for some kind of title during any given football season on the island.
On a rough guess I’d say, 95% percent of all boys, aged between 5 and 18, play football in a club somewhere at some time in their childhood and youth. Amongst the girls the favourite out-of-school activity is a dancing sport like ballet, gymnastics, salsa, hip-hop or similar.
After the all time favourites mentioned above come all the water-sport activities for children, led by surfing and body boarding – which some kids have as a second sports activity. And then there is basketball, handball, martial arts, chess, sports for disabled kids, etc. – all these and more sports can be practised in San Bartolomé de Tirajana.
Closing Of The Kids Sport Season
In 2014 we were at the Maspalomas sport clubs closing of the season festivities in the Estadio Municipal De Maspalomas. (June 2014) Every child that had been participating in a sports activity in one of the numerous clubs received a medal that day! Brilliant!
Usually though each club has their own closing festivities in June and the clubs decide if they want to spend money on medals or diplomas. The whole family is usually invited and everybody does usually come. Parents get to know each other and after a few seasons parents begin to socialize also outside the sports activity.
I am always truly amazed at the dedication of the different trainers towards teaching the kids what they know. Besides being time consuming and a huge responsibility, there is hardly any financial reward in it for them. And still, there are so many trainers who are truly loved and respected by the children! They often become a role model for our youngsters.
A friend of mine teaches performing dance to girls up in Tunte – without any financial gain whatsoever. She even sometimes spends her own money on special decoration or tools the girls need for their dance performance. When I asked her why she did it, she answered: “If I don’t, nobody will – so I have to. That way the girls experience what it means to be disciplined and the nice feeling of standing on a stage with an audience.” Amazing, isn’t it?
Text: Judith Schjorring