Now also in English, and not in a funny Google version. Please feel free to comment and to like it if you do.
First let me thank the comments made to my article “Empezar la casa por el tejado” here in La Interzona, my little corner in Trialworld. I have to add that according to the number of views and comments received directly or through social networking I have to feel proud, encouraged and supported in this task.
Thank you all.
Explain you also that before starting the series of articles I decided not to reply following comments. With this I only want to leave the door open so that everyone feels welcome to participate freely without the “threat” that I can come to refute any opinion against, and they will arrive sooner or later, because of the issues that I keep in the inkwell. I will not, so feel free.
In these editorials, any comments and opinions are welcome to arouse criticism and consciousness with the ultimate goal of creating discussion and improving our sport if that is possible, and I think it is, especially at the level of the basic pilots that are in the sport just for fun.
In fact I think there is a very long way to go if we want trials to be closer to what it was in its golden years of the 70s (ironically the year of our freedom) and why not, to what it could be if the tools were the adequate, that in fact there are not so many tools needed to acquire it and of which we will talk slowly this season ahead. [READ MORE]
I leave you with my second part, I hope to wake some consciences and I promise that the third part will be very positive or at least as you will see totally different and new…
To finish the introduction, special thanks to Sandra Gomez that has allowed me to customize my article with her name. Thank you champion!!!
THE SECRET OF SANDRA GOMEZ
For those who do not know her, Sandra Gomez is a young lady from Cercedilla that enjoy sports very much. One that rides a motorcycle. Especially and at the moment a trials bike, but her blue eyes are beginning to look in other directions. That the world is very big and has infinite possibilities is something that Sandra has discovered not long ago.
Sandra combines her studies in university with sports activity that has taken her much of her short life. Skiing, gym, jogging, cycling, climbing, bikes, bikes, bikes and more bikes. She enjoys the dirt bikes and to remind those who have forgotten, Sandra until some days ago was second in Spanish trials champ, third in the individual world championship, team world champion and winner of a First Class Award in the Scottish Pre65 competing versus 180 men bent on winning for themselves one of those coveted Scottish awards. No one has given her something for free.
Not too bad this record in a single year, and there is just one woman in the world that do not envy this 2012 curriculum. In any country considered civilized, developed and where it is estimated to get those titles for your country, it would be enough not to have to worry too much about her immediate sports future.
I know Sandra Gomez and know firsthand about her circumstances, her environment, her goals and aspirations; and although she does not know about it; I also know her limitations too; in sports of course. I also know firsthand all the effort and sacrifice that has meant that Sandra has the enviable titles that she has. She does not know, but I know the secret of her success … success secret that I suspect is the same secret that hides the entire Spanish women trials.
I’ve run three times together with Sandra the Scottish pre65, I practiced with her a few times and have helped her to achieve one of her goals, to participate in the Scottish Six Days Trial entering through the front door and especially with possibilities to finish the Scottish harsh race and do it with her head held high.
I will not forget her state of nerves when we took her to the house of my good friend John Moffat in Fort William after the Pre65, where she would stay with the family during those six days of May. She still was not aware of the amount of people going to ensure that her six days were smooth sailing, good people like David, Andrew, Jean, Sandy, Alan, John … had pledged their word to keep an eye on Sandra constantly. But just be careful in what you think, as the good physical form and her high level of trials needed to go through the SSDT with warranty when a newcomer is something that Sandra already had in her suitcase when she landed in Scotland.
In the three years we’ve shared the pre65 what most caught my attention is the winning spirit Sandra has got. Sandra just wants to win and she could do so as she treasures everything necessary that a champion needs to become one, but still does not found that inner conductor that helps all physical and mental tools work in harmony to achieve being the best. That conductor is not as easy to obtain as very few people naturally carry within and far fewer people are able to instruct you to awaken the inner champion.
Hopefully in 2014 you will get Sandra. But mostly I hope we can repeat the pre65 together if your new agenda allows it, so I can give you a rematch … you said it could never happen; right? Well it happened in the first opportunity, everything is possible as you can see…
In the first entry of my blog, “Empezar la casa por el tejado” I wanted to show how the policy of promoting a sport based on winning world titles may be wrong. In the case of female motorcycling and more specifically the Spanish women trials, this policy is further wrong, unless someone demonstrates me the opposite.
I explain myself again.
Our girls from the trial have been the best in the world in 2012; won four medals of possible three, world champion Laia Sainz, third classified Sandra Gomez and team world champions (Laia, Sandra and Mireia).
Congratulations girls, we are all very proud of you!
Yes, I know these are last year’s data, but are not very different from the year 2013 and serve to confront the reality of Spanish women’s trials to the reality of women’s sports overall figures published by the CSD referenced to last year 2012.
But let´s go directly to CSD statistics related to Spanish women’s sport. Of 65 female federated sports in Spain, motorcycling ranks number 62 in license number; yes penultimate position, with a scant 197 total women federated including all specialties of the two wheels as speed, motocross, enduro, quad, trials…
One hundred ninety seven federated ladies federated in motorcycle (197), surpassing only pool (20), boating (46) and boxing (80) and below sports like water skiing (233) American football (288) Weightlifting (375) or kickboxing (459), and “light years” behind greatly minority sports such as wrestling (1,101), pigeon (2,235), greyhounds hunting (2,344), Olympic shooting (4,710) or bowls (4,974), to give an example.
Yes, I know it’s amazing, but for every Spanish woman that makes federated motorcycling there are 12 growing racing pigeons and competing with them, another 12 hunting with greyhounds, 24 practicing Olympic shooting or 25 competing in bowls.
Being the average of women federated in Spanish sports 20%, in motorcycling is a ridiculous 1,3%.
But in reality how many girls do federated trials in Spain? Thirty perhaps? I believe that even thirty is a generous number. Take thirty. With this figure the average women in the federal trial stand at 0.03% but with a spectacular final result because of each ten federated we have one of the coveted world medals with which CSD and RFME justify their work and the promotion they make from our sport.
A resounding success and unappeasable if the goal are the titles, but if the goal is the promotion of sport and free participation as cultural, success becomes a loud, resounding and embarrassing failure.
¿How is it that in a sport with a female participation as poor as is the trial in Spain we can have out class people like Sandra?
As I said before I know the secret of Sandra. Of course part of it is the hard work in physical preparation and training, without which no athlete could compete. Although that is something everybody knows.
Her real and hidden secret, one that the CSD and the political federation do not know or don´t want to admit, a secret shared surely with every of the few girls in Spanish motorcycling in general and particularly in trials, a secret that has personal names, in fact many names, those of their personal lives.
The names of those who strive and help them to achieve their goals, and the names of those who compensate the lack of support and promotion of the trials in Spain, in the case of Sandra names like Mariano, Maria Luisa, Beltrán … and many others that she knows better than anyone.
It would be nice that we all knew their names to be able to thank them also for the success.