Five of the sports city train on the field Joan Gamper, making rounds, watchword of the club. And, as the men’s and women’s first team, they had a presentation in style at the stadium. Johan cruyff, with the president Joan Laporta cheering them on and two exceptional godparents: Gerard Piqué and Alexia Putellas.
Are the Barça Genuine Foundation, which will play LaLiga Genuine Santander for the first time. A soccer-8 competition, with four 10-minute parts per game, created in 2017 for people with intellectual disabilities. The Barcelona Foundation commissioned six collaborating entities to make the selection of 24 players. He only asked that it be a mixed team, aged between 18 and 30 years (since the Foundation is aimed at children and young people) and in which, although the minimum disability set by the League is 33%, there are also kids who had 60% or 70%.
“The Foundation and the club work on the inclusion of people with other abilities and we did not want this inclusion and diversity to be just words and messages that are nothing, we wanted to do tangible things,” he explains Marta Segú, general director of the Fundació, who comments that they worked against the clock to be able to register the team.
“Some were depressed but now their parents tell us that they see them with more enthusiasm for having a life outside of home or work”
Marta Segú, president of the FCB Foundation
“Entering this league, that these boys and girls compete with the Barça crest, with the same treatment as any other team: with the same equipment, training in the sports center and making a presentation in style like other teams. And lucky to have two renowned ambassadors like Piqué and Alexia, who are very involved. ”
The Barça Genuine Foundation team starts the season by sharing Haka with the ambassadors @alexiaputellas AND @ 3gerardpique, the General Director of the Foundation, Marta Segú, and the president @JoanLaportaFCB.
We are more than a club! 💙❤️ #SomElQueFem pic.twitter.com/fXOhI4r9DG
– Barça Foundation (@FundacioFCB) November 8, 2021
Alexia is the favorite player of Jenni Cabanillas, who was able to meet his idol. “The presentation was like ‘is it really true?’. It was the host, ‘” says this girl from Sant Fruitós de Baiges, who turns 20 on Friday. The players and coaches did an improvised ‘haka’ with Laporta, Piqué and Alexia. “This gives you a lot of motivation. We have been very lucky to be in this team. We are very happy to learn every day, the best are the teammates, the affection for the coaches. We are a great family,” says one of the four players of the team, before kissing the shield.
Without sleeping after his signing
“It was a historic day, I had never imagined a presentation like this and with Piqué and Alexia, who also show that in addition to being great players they have a good heart,” he says Kamal El-Yachou. This young man from Vic had played soccer since he was little, but when he started working making yoghurts, he had spent time playing futsal. When, at 23 years old, they announced that he had signed, he did not believe it. “The day they told me I didn’t even sleep. Until I got here I didn’t believe it was real, I didn’t imagine that all this could happen. My friends tell me, you deserve it, to continue like this. Now let’s play, win and have fun. “
Very proud to be an ambassador of the Barça Foundation team and of the values that this team transmits!
– Gerard Piqué (@ 3gerardpique) November 9, 2021
During training you hear almost as much laughter as touches of the ball. “We are enthusiastic, we were already very motivated, with great enthusiasm but it has been multiplied by the response we are having from the boys on a personal and football level,” reveals the coach, Sergi Mascarell, that does not lose the smile for an instant. His ‘staff’ is completed by two technicians and three psychologists, to take special care of the emotional part. “They are people of certain capacities and what it is about is to develop them so that there is an evolution, a growth at all levels. They are boys and girls with an extraordinary attitude, with a desire to learn, to improve, to help, to collaborate, and with a capacity for empathy between them that is facilitating us “.
Sergi, who had worked in a school with people with disabilities of different types, assures that the work does not vary much from other teams that he has trained. “As a technician, you are oriented differently to a six-year-old than to those who are 18. It is a matter of adapting the job to the profile we have. Here there are different levels and it is about tuning them so that when we go out we do our best.”
He has also signed for Barça two months ago and feels, more than pressure, responsibility. “We have a responsibility because we represent the best club in the world and they are understanding it. We are going to try to do our best, winning is not the most important thing, other things come first: although winning is more fun if we lose we also have to have fun” .
At the moment they are already doing it, both in training and in the friendlies they have played. Something that, says the director of the Foundation, families also perceive. “The families are detecting positive changes, some were somewhat depressed and now they know that on Monday afternoons they have training, then the friendlies, the league … Parents tell us that they see them with more enthusiasm for having life outside the home or the We hope they succeed especially in transmitting values and helping them to have a life with much more dignity. ”