For six months, climbing enthusiasts in Oviedo have not had any covered public facilities to practice their sport. Without prior notice or any explanation, the employees of the Supera company, which manages the Otero sports center, deny the athletes access to the climbing wall. “It’s closed” is the only answer they give to those interested. Nor have they found solutions in the City Council, which owns the facility. “They pass the ball to each other,” laments Antonio Villena, one of those affected.
Villena, who has been climbing for more than 40 years, places the origin of the conflict in an incident involving two of the colleagues who used to go to the Otero climbing wall: “In June, when they were climbing, a dam broke loose and one of them flew. He told it on social networks and, from what we have found out, as a result of that the City Council ordered Supera to close ”. Since then, Oviedo climbers have crashed into a wall, but not the kind they like.
Villena assures that he and his colleagues sent letters to the Supera headquarters, in La Coruña, and in the absence of a response they informed the Councilor for Sports of the Oviedo City Council, Concepción Méndez, but six months later everything remains the same. Both Villena and Egocheaga consider that the situation is even more bloody for the “capital of sport”, if one takes into account that cities such as Gijón, Avilés, Mieres, Langreo, Pola de Siero and Cangas de Onís do have public facilities with climbing walls. covered in operation.
Jorge Egocheaga, the only Asturian who has completed fourteen “eight thousand” on the planet, highlights that the Otero climbing wall was inaugurated in 1995 “as one of the most advanced covered facilities in Spain, with last generation dams and resin panels with reliefs. ”. And he adds: “At that time it was the ultimate, but in the last thirty years many things have changed in indoor climbing. Users never complain about the lack of investment in new dams or required changes in the route of the roads. Being able to train a couple of hours a week was enough for me ”.
Egocheaga does not understand that in Oviedo, after being a pioneer, he has ignored climbing fans. A reality that is exemplified, curiously, in the sports center that bears his name, in Pumarín-Teatinos: “I was invited to the inauguration, but I have not returned because the installation’s climbing wall is built outside of all logic: discovered, in a climate like ours, and with a design that is only appropriate for Olympic champions. For this reason, despite the large investment made by the City Council, it has hardly been used ”.
Both Antonio Villena and Jorge Egocheaga suspect that the background of what happens with the Otero climbing wall is economic. “As we are few users, some quite older, and the entrance is very cheap, less than two euros, we do not import …”, Egocheaga laments. Meanwhile, Villena gives the example of the French multinational that in November inaugurated a climbing wall in the Parque Astur shopping center in Corvera, in the heat of the Olympic gold medal achieved by Alberto Ginés: “It cost one million euros and it is exceptional. The entry costs seven euros, but it is worth it for climbers ”.