Cuba Will See Itself Forced to Open Amateur Sports to Professionalism / Anddy Sierra Alvarez

With the decline of sports facilities on the island, the Cuban government it taking drastic measures in order to keep sports alive, based on already failed communist ideals. A situation that corners the Castro government so that for once, it will open the doors to professionalism.

Havana province has the majority of high-performance sports facilities, which over time have lost the competitive fundamentals critical to the development of Cuban sports.

Some reference installations

East Havana, an area of the capital, benefited by being the site of the Pan American Games in 1991, with the construction of the “Villa Panamericana” (a sports complex that includes facilities such as the Velodrome (Cycling), athletics, tennis, pools etc). Currently it is here that we find the only stadium of athletics (Olympic) “still not over” that can be used for international competitions. The stadium provides high performance athletes — world champions or finalists, Panamericans, Central Americans — “comfortable rooms” located in the same building, where the bed can injure you or the ceiling can give you a shower in rainy weather.

“Bare Hill” as the capital residents know it, is the ESFAAR, Training School of High Performance Athletes. From the street people can see its damaged structure and contemplate the broken windows during practices for volleyball, basketball, fencing, boxing and other sports.

There is also the National School of Gymnastics, the youngest building, whose construction is the ongoing work of INDER, the National Sports Institute. Proof of this was the concrete sign that read 2000 for the start date and with completion date of 2004. Later they changed to 2006, until they decided to remove the information. Currently it is a facility that has not been fully completed.

Athletes are subjected to exploitation

The sacrifices of the athletes are part of the sporting life, but working without any recognition is essential affectation of the human stimulus that Cuban athletes lack.

All athletes who have deserted from the island have done so with the aim to seek prosperity in the future. Something they are denied in Cuba totalitarian and comprehensive political ideals, that take into account political fear. Individual enrichment is alien to the Castro supporting group, which would do anything to maintain power and which they have managed to do.

Many athletes comment on their poor earnings and mocking the government offers: “Crumbs they give us in return for great effort,” said an anonymous junior athlete.

They either open the doors to professional sports, or simply lose their best athletes

There are many dangers, loss of facilities such as EIDE (the Jose Marti Sports Initiation School) closed for lack of capital, ESPA (the Manual Permuy Senior School Athletic Improvement) closed for the same reason.

Stadiums and sports centers are in very bad condition, the only thing the government cares about is everything having to do with baseball for its political strategy. In short, if no measures are taken to slacken the reins over baseball and combat sports (boxing) and let the athletes be recruited by clubs, everything will go over the cliff. A situation that the government itself has created.

27 May 2013