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Published on May 22nd, 2013 | by Daniel Boyle

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Chile, un país de deportistas…

This is a translation of an article written on El Mercurio by Claudia Vera, President of the DAR Chile organisation. The group has brought together Chile’s best athletes to work to improve Chile’s sporting world.

The opinion piece was written after the annual 21 de Mayo speech given by Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera. The speech marked the last of the four year term.

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We were listening attentively to the discourse of President Piñera, where the objectives are to enter an evaluation of the work done and set a path for the next months of government.

 

That’s why, as the Agrupación Nacional de Deportistas de Alto Rendimiento (DARChile), we realised an evaluation of the management, despite not being named in his discourse, in which will value the increase in the country’s budget in the area of sports, not just in the area of high performance athletes, but for sport in general. For more than ten years we have seen an increase in funding for sports in the budget.

It is important to recognise and highlight as positive signals the initiatives to do mega events in our countries, as the South American Games (March 2014) , including for the first time in history the Juegos Parasuramericanos, will be. We can add to this the bid for the 2019 Pan American Games and Parapanamericanos.

These mega events are a tremendous opportunity to change the sporting culture, education and valuation of sport and athletes in this country. We hope that these will be a success for all Chileans.

We must also recognise the work that we realise month to month together with the Instituto Nacional de Deportes (IND), that we hope in the coming months will bear their first fruits. 

The president highlight that sport generates values, as well as good habits, for which we believe that high performance athletes must be valued and empowered to be role models for future generations. In regards to “embracing the cause of sport”, we would have liked more clarity.

Analysing the discourse, the plan for the following months of government  failed to more explicit about the budget. We believe that a restructure of sporting policies must be considered. The way, the time and what it means to be a high performance athlete require great depth and clarity when creating sporting policies.

This is not just about injecting more money o investing more in infrastructure, but to make a decision as a country. Where we must evaluate the possibility of generating a system that includes quality of life, accompanying the athlete during their sporting career and preparing a plan for retirement from the competitive world, including insertion into the work force, among other aspects.

This is where a Ministry of Sport comes to be a dream for us. But will the Ministry of Sport be a solution to this?

There have been three May 21 addresses announcing the ministry that we ask for. When will it be a reality? Will a ministry have power, hierarchy and autonomy to perform all the tasks? Lastly, what role will athletes play inside the ministry? Will we have real participation in the decisions for sporting policies?

For this we call on each Chilean, including all of the presidential candidates, to reflect and take a decision about the future of sport in our country. As the Agrupación Nacional de Deportistas de Alto Rendimiento we put ourselves forward to work, support and promote that aim to improve the development of our society, as we believe the theme of sport is transversal.

We would have liked that what the president pronounced was explicit and direct in the theme of high performance sports.

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About the Author

Founder of @sportslashlife. Australian living in Chile. Freestyle footbag player and passionate sports fan.



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