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Published on April 27th, 2013 | by Daniel Boyle


Interview – Manuel José Correa – Instituto Nacional de Deportes


Sport/Life had a chat with Manuel José Correa, head of the IND of the Metropolitan Region at the Danone Nations Cup event in Chile. We also gave him a footbag. Despite never having played before, he showed great control. We hope to get him hooked on the sport of footbag!!

Here is the interview. We talk about the support of the IND for various programs, English through sport, Chile developing a National Games and more.

We’re here at the Copa Danone – what do you think about this event?

I think it’s in an excellent initiative. As the Instituto National de Deportes, we are helping this directly through the Ley de Donaciones, as well as programs through the length of the country. For us, as a government, the physical activity and sports is important for everyone – children, youth, adults and senior citizens. This is our current crusade.

We are going forward, transforming step by step, bit by bit, Chile into a country of athletes. This is a work that has just started and will continue expanding, spreading the values of sport. We have more that 1,000 football schools and support private activities through clubs or organisations or events like the tournament here today, with the winner going to London to represent Chile.

The winner will go to London – how important is it to speak English for that team, and for the top athletes?

Of course, English is fundamental. It’s a goal in the education, through the Ministry of Education, to improve the level of English in Chile. There are many professions and industries, for example tourism, where English is a must. For a player, they should have a good level of education.

Sport is combined with a good base of values as well as a spirit of professionalism. I am convinced that sports is a strong tool for development of the individual. English is a part of this educational experience and can open the door to players or any professional.

Does the government have plans to use sports to improve English through sports in Chile?

Specifically, as the IND, we do not develop programs like this, we promote the development of sports. There are goals through the Ministry of Education. There is where we begin. First we are incorporating more sports in schools. We also have sporting schools (escuelas deportivas).

We have doubled the amount of hours of physical education. Last year we had the Juegos Escolares for the Metropolitan Region. We then had a selection represent Chile in Brazil. This year they will go to Mar del Plata, Argentina. Education is fundamental and sport is a part of this initiative.

Football is everything in Chile – how can other sports rise up here?

We promote and develop all sports, not just football. Coming up we have the South American Games (Santiago 2014). We are helping the Olympic athletes through our Olympic Plan. Aside from this, we are supporting physical activity day by day – dance, handball, volleyball as well as many other sports.

What happens though is that the impression is there is only football. The media are only transmitting football. Chile has made great achievements on higher stages than in football. Last year, for example, Chile defeated Argentina in Volleyball for the seventh consecutive year.

Today Chile is becoming a power in South America in distinct disciplines, not just football. I think we are taking big steps at the level of recreation and formative level of athletes, having people fight against the sedentary lifestyle. I hope that in the future the media will cover many more disciplines.

What’s the most important thing for you in 2013?

In 2013, in terms of international competition, it’s a blind year. There are no Olympics, Pan American Games or South American Games, which will happen here next year. We are working to start this year in October, a National Games. Each region of Chile will compete in seven different disciplines.

It’s a great preparation, an intense preparation for the South American Games. There are also many competitions throughout the year around the world. Right now we have representatives at the JUDEJUT in Bolivia, with Peru, Chile Argentina and Bolivia competing. I think this year, the National Games is the most important competition.

Anything else to add?

I would like to say hello from the IND to all the foreigners in Chile. I would like to reach out to all the colonies that have arrived in Chile to use sport and to use the IND for promotion and development of sporting activities here in Chile.

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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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