Many experts, as well as different authorities, agree that sport is a fundamental tool for improving physical inactivity and mental health. Chile has one of the highest child overweight rates in Latin America, according to the UN report titled “Regional Overview of Food and Nutrition Security 2021”.
Magallanes has been left alone in speeches and analyses, so far no concrete facts have been found for there to be a real regional sports policy, which has as a priority the fight against sedentary lifestyle, mental health and the 35% obesity that we have regionally according to the “First map of obesity in Chile”, carried out by the Novo Nordisk Laboratory and the Andrés Bello University in 2021.
It is because of this non-existence and the lack of importance given to sport that I call on the governor of the Region of Magallanes, Jorge Flies, with his team, to add sport to their regional policies. For this, citizen participation is fundamental, it consists of listening to both clubs and associations of all sports that take place in our region. Also, take into account that some, such as hockey, fencing, rollerblading and handball, do not even have facilities for their practice. Those who survive thanks to the passion and perseverance of their athletes who have repeatedly distinguished themselves at the national level.
It is not possible that the only thing that continues to be done to help and/or promote sport is to sanction which projects receive the 2% earmarked for sport from the FNDR (National Fund for Regional Development). We must take a broader and more serious look at promoting grassroots sport to the public, in addition to not neglecting high performance, which due to the short-sightedness of the regional government, outstanding athletes in our region are to get lost.
We should have a clear schedule of sports infrastructure and take into accountto all the sports played, not just football. For example, did you know that our region has national handball teams and there is not a single court for their practice or that the only gymnasium with an exclusive volleyball court was made by a club called Taiiu, with voluntary contributions, raffles, etc. ? , ask a church to grant your gym to make your dream come true? And so I could continue to give examples, which I will leave for another occasion.
I also want to mention the practice of high performance, which in my case was tennis in my teenage years and currently paddle tennis. It is essential to receive and feel the support and help to succeed in this matter. What do I mean by this help? Being primarily present as an authority on the field, witnessing the daily sacrifice of the athlete, thus having a clear understanding of the needs that arise and evaluating the best way to support them. In addition, the existence of an annual calendar with budgets allocated for assistance to athletes and including public performance improvement policies is essential.
This could translate into proposing goals at the Araucania and Odesur Games, including goals regarding the medal table, and from there finding goals to achieve that goal. One of the alternatives could be to bring in renowned national or world coaches for a fixed period of time to train both our coaches and the athletes who represent Magallanes.
I hope that once and for all we will take sport seriously, stop making speeches and analyzes and start managing.
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