This is how the platform that catapults Spanish women’s sport works | Sports

What do Carolina Pascual, María José Rienda or Paloma del Río have in common? They are three pioneering women, and their authoritative voice serves as a catapult to new talents in women’s sports. It is enough to review their legacy to realize how they have paved the way for new generations of athletes.

When gymnast Carolina Pascual won silver at the Barcelona 92 ​​Olympic Games, she was only 16 years old. That was the first medal for Spanish rhythmic music in an Olympic event. For her part, María José Rienda is a national ski legend. Her six victories in the World Cup and her five Olympic participations support the career of an athlete who also marked a milestone in the offices, by becoming the first woman to preside over the Higher Sports Council in 2018.

Meanwhile, journalist Paloma del Río has given voice and visibility to minority sports, many of them starring women, for more than 30 years from the microphones of TVE. The Madrid native is a benchmark in sports journalism, with 16 broadcasts of the Olympic Games, four Mediterranean Games and up to 60 world and European games in artistic, rhythmic gymnastics, skating and equestrian, among others.

In addition to their love and passion for sports, these three female role models share their desire to promote the careers and talent of young athletes. Pascual, Rienda and Paloma del Río are some of the ambassadors of They are from herean initiative created in 2016 with the aim of promoting female athletes and providing them with the economic means, visibility and support to transform their dreams into real achievements.

The Madrid judoka Estrella López Sheriff competes in the -52 kilo category.

The promoters of this idea are Monserrat Corderroure and Mercé Gomá, current head of marketing of the Nufri Group. This agri-food company has more than 50 years of experience in the fruit and vegetable sector. Both confirmed that the women’s successes at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games – where women won nine medals, one more than the boys – were not receiving the impact they deserved.

At that time, the Livinda brand of apples was beginning to enter the Spanish market, at a time when more apples from abroad were consumed than those grown here. The Nufri Group’s intention was to launch a social project that would transmit its corporate values, based on the effort of daily work in the field. That was the germ of Ellas Son de Aqui. As the director of Production and Commerce of Grupo Nufri-Manzanas Livinda, Ignasi Argilés, explains, sport and agricultural tasks share more elements than people believe. “We farmers feel very identified with the athletes, because from the moment we plant an apple tree, we must work hard for years until we see the fruits,” he says.

With the Paris Olympics on the horizon

Throughout its seven editions, They are from here It has given visibility to 342 projects throughout the country. Manzanas Livinda has sponsored 31 of them, with an investment that exceeds 189,000 euros. Currently, the platform sponsors ten athletes. Five of them are the winners of the last edition –Helena Arias (Olympic shooting), Isabel S. Arán (apnea), Irene Cerdá (athletics for the blind), and the athletes Elena Sanz and Mireia Sosa–, and the other five are sponsorships renewed –Berta Abellán (trial), Pilar Lamadrid (windsurfing), Sara Ouzande (canoeing), and the judokas Estrella López Sheriff and Carla Ubasart–. Three of the latter (Lamadrid, Ouzande and López) hope to certify their qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in the coming weeks.

The sponsorships awarded are divided into four categories: athletes from Olympic disciplines, with a prize of 5,000 euros each year throughout the Olympic cycle; elite athletes from non-Olympic disciplines, endowed with 5,000 euros; amateur projects, for grassroots sports or for social purposes, with 3,000 euros; and territory project, in collaboration with the Catigat Sports Association, for women who are born or reside in the Pla d’Urgell region (Lleida).

The choice of these sponsorships is based on the key points of the project, the support that the candidates receive on social networks and the criteria of the ambassadors of They are from here. This jury of women former athletes, managers and sports journalists includes, in addition to Carolina Pascual, María José Rienda and Paloma del Río, Anna Boada, Azahara García de los Salmones, Teresa Zabell, Yasmina Vilagrasa and Cristina Gallo.

For the Nufri Group, it is essential to be able to guarantee support for all athletes, both at the professional and amateur level, something “essential so that no girl is left without practicing sport, and can continue to aspire in the future to the top international positions in any sports modality.” After all, sport is a great tool for transmitting habits and values ​​that are very useful for life and society.

Sevillian Pilar Lamadrid will compete in Paris 2024 in the iQFOil windsurfing class.
Sevillian Pilar Lamadrid will compete in Paris 2024 in the iQFOil windsurfing class.

An integrated family

Throughout all these years, the project has managed to form a large family made up of the winners of the different editions. Although they come from different disciplines, these girls have exchanged experiences, information and knowledge, and collaborate together to help each other progress in their respective careers.

The current call for They are from here It is open until next August 13. Until that date, interested people can send their applications. To do this, they must record a video in which they present their project and explain their dreams and needs. This video must be sent along with the form that you will find in the platform website.

Five decades of history

In 2023, the Nufri Group celebrated its 50 years of life. The company was born from a group of producers from the Pla d’Urgell region of Lleida who were dedicated to the production of fruit. Currently, Nufri consists of four large business divisions – fresh fruit, processed fruit, markets and energy –, which ensure total traceability in all its products and a real circular economy.

Its 400 associated farmers produce around 150,000 tons of fruit per year, which they preserve and market themselves. Among them, the premium Livinda brand apples stand out, grown entirely in Spanish territory.

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