The great female teacher, six times champion of Spain, resigned from the 2018 World Rapid Championship
A sit-in with arguments. A boycott in favor of equality and against discrimination for the simple fact of being a woman. The chess player from Gran Canaria Sabrina vega refused to participate in an entire World Championship that was unable to fully guarantee the individual freedom of women.
And it is that Sabrina Vega decided not to attend the World Championship of fast and semi-fast games which was held in Ryad, the capital of Saudi Arabia, at the end of December 2017. The reason: the lack of time to become aware of the country’s norms and to be able to compete at the highest level in a place where women’s rights are not guaranteed . A gesture that earned him public recognition at the 2018 National Sports Awards, whose delivery ceremony, presided over by King Felipe and Queen Letizia in a ceremony held yesterday at the Royal Palace of El Pardo (Madrid).
Because although the organization assured that within the pavilions and halls where it would be played, the freedoms of each player would be respected during the games, it did not specify what would happen once the games ended.
“This season was very long and I did not feel strong enough to give an imminent response and give in to certain rules of conduct in the Muslim country, “Sabrina Vega, six-time national champion and Grand Master, said on the pages of this medium.
“That World Cup had higher prizes at an economic level, but first there are values”
Three years after that, his convictions are still intact. “In Saudi Arabia certain things were required of us based on the rules of Muslim culture such as covering the head with a veil,” he explained yesterday in statements to Europa Press. And although the event had “superior economic conditions”, he made it clear that “above were the values themselves.” “I meditated a lot and did not attend, but it was a personal decision because I do not believe myself with the power of the truth and there were players who wanted to attend, but I think it was a correct answer and that of course it was supported,” warned the Gran Canaria chess player.
In this sense, Sabrina Vega also pointed to the importance of gestures in sport that can transcend the rest of society and become a starting point for some social achievements such as equality between the sexes. “I have always believed that sport has a professional field, but also a social impact and I was able to contribute a small ‘grain’ of sand,” said the Gran Canaria.
All in a “long debate” which would have to be raised about the little presence of women in chess, and although the “numbers are growing”, it did not hide that they suffer “a failure in continuity in youthful age”, when the girls decide not to continue and what causes that “factor of visibility of female references” does not exist. Furthermore, “the world’s ‘top’ is dominated by men.” “We are progressing little by little and we must respect the rhythm of the process,” he said.
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“It is necessary that factor of visibility of female references in this sport,” he specifies
The Reina Sofía Award is the National Sports Award that is given to the person or institution that has stood out during the year for a gesture of nobility or fair play in sports practice or that has made a special contribution to the elimination of violence. It is the second time that a Canarian athlete has achieved this distinction, after the sailor José Luis Doreste achieved it in 1986 under the name Premio Infantas de España.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.