Recreation… Where? / Anddy Sierra Alvarez

The name “Eladio Cid” was confusing for a moment because it was used to identify two stadiums which were called by the same name, on in Los Pinos and on in  Seville. “Los Pinos” is located in the municipality of Arroyo Naranjo and Seville is located in the municipality of 10 de October, both based in the capital of Cuba, “Havana.” Actually the name belonged to the Seville  combined sports facility, previously known as the “Athletic.”

The locals refer to what once was the great arena of “The Pines” (the name itself identified the “Pines” neighborhood) which had facilities for sports like football, baseball, softball, basketball courts for small and larger categories, judo, karate, swimming, diving, (a 30 yard field where they played Basque Ball and Fromm tennis), volleyball and a small area track and field events such as long jump, triple jump or shot put.

Their practices lasted into the evening as it was fully lit and fenced. Today in 2012, the Basque Ball court is no more as it has been torn down as it was in danger of collapse, the trampoline was also removed because the pool is always empty because the two motors are broken, as the river filtration runs below the pool.  Because of this there have been two fatal accidents of people who have fallen off the trampoline.

Once they put up light towers but today they elsewhere, in “Ciro Frías” in the same municipality of Arroyo Naranjo. The towers ended up there through administrative influence (better understood if you know that the director of Ciro Frías has better personal relationships with managers who assigned the towers ans so were about to force their diversion over 20 years ago).

Ricardo is one of the neighbors who lives across from the stadium and he says it is a great loss and inconvenience to lose such an important facility, and now he is forced to take his grandson to another stadium, as this has no place for volleyball.

Thus, the chances for recreation are limited with each passing day, their deterioration is irreversible. A foreign organization provided some very helpful tools for the reconstruction of the stadium, such as boards for basketball hoop, and they painted and cut the grass. When this organization left they took the boards off the basketball court and I’ve never seen them since, in short their good effort disappeared.

I remember this expression we used to hear every day: Sport is the right of the people.

February 17 2012