As a woman, athlete and representative of her race, María Isabel Urrutia feels fulfilled. She is the first Minister of Sports of her gender and she arrives with the trust of athletes such as Mariana Pajón, Caterine Ibargüen, Willington Ortiz, among others.
“The most important thing is that they recognize the work and struggle of the athlete, because we do not come from stratum 77 but from municipalities, outskirts or invasion neighborhoods.and doing the Olympic process, winning a medal, educating myself and being in politics helped the president trust me and the commitment is great and it is hard”, he told TV WEEK.
Gustavo Petro asked them to reach the remote corners of Colombia and recover the sports infrastructure.
One of their missions is the women’s soccer league. He understands how outrageous it has been for the country that organized the Copa América to have more than 400 unemployed athletes without a professional championship, adding the achievements of the Sub 17, Sub 20 and the senior team in World Cups, Olympics and even achieving Bolivarian gold in the past games that were held in Valledupar.
Regarding the regulation of the Colombian Football Federation, he knows that he has to agree with the members of that private entity, to be in contact and improve the image.
For this reason, he began to work hard and met with some of the presidents of the Colombian soccer clubs and with Fernando Jaramillo, Dimayor’s top leader.
“I met with more or less 12 teams and they are willing to work together. We cannot regulate everything in the Federation. For me, the important thing is not the league, but guaranteeing women 11 months of work and that the private company joins. Find out how many girls we have and how many teams we can put together, the same with sports initiation schools, ”he acknowledged, without advancing the economic budget to carry it out. He hopes that the Colombian Olympic Committee will join.
In 10 days he will do a complete review to see what he can take from the past Ministry and what needs to be improved. She was at the summit of mayors of the Pacific and traveled to Chocó. He says he has all the capabilities to do his job well.
“I was in Congress, I know how it works, I know the laws, I know how to put together a budget and how to ask. Likewise, I have administrative responsibilities,” he added.
The Ministry of Sport has not yet defined its deputy minister. María Isabel assures that they continue to review resumes.
“Regardless of whether they didn’t come because of politics, they must meet the requirements to speak the same language. They keep looking at resumes, ”he confessed.
With the example of what has been achieved in women’s football and women’s volleyball, the new minister wants to work hard in team sports.
A WEEK him assured that another of the objectives entrusted to him by Petro is keeping children away from armed areas through sport.
Support to win and not expect athletes to win to support is another of his approaches.
“One of Dr. Gustavo Petro’s goals is to strengthen remote regions in all the sports that we can. We are guaranteed high performance. They don’t have to sell empanadas. Those who have to sell empanadas are those who, for example, in the clubs charge them. Children even have to buy its implementation. I do not see fair that if there is a collection, it is not represented in the athlete as such. What we can regulate as a Ministry is to ask for reckoning”, he pointed out.
Gustavo Petro asked him to join with the athletes. Many of the glories of the sport will help him to promote physical activity and will be coaches. His condition is that they leave the office and not remain in the administrative area.
“Let them go to the territory. We will also do a review for sports glories because the useful life of the athlete does not go beyond 40 years. I do not see fair that they wait 10 more years, we must have a budget ceiling. In addition, including and solving those who did not obtain medals in the Olympic Games, but went through the whole process and for whatever reason stayed in the Pan American Games or any other event”, Urrutia confessed.
Guillermo Herrera, former Minister of Sports, in his 365 days of management with the government of Iván Duque, delivered the highest budget of that portfolio, with a total of 2.3 billion pesos, of which 900 million pesos were invested during 2022. María Isabel Urrutia, who replaces him, is convinced that he must exceed that amount, review the tax and the laws that support the funds. Currently, she has at her disposal about 8 billion pesos.
Colombia is full of white elephants
“They gave us 1,900 works in infrastructure, they justified 900 and 1,000 we do not know if they are finished or in what space they are. Gustavo Petro told me: ‘I don’t want cement masses, but functional scenarios where the boys can train’, he emphasized.
He recognizes that Paralympic sport should receive special attention. Colombia, with its delegation in Tokyo of 69 athletes, returned with 24 medals. Three gold, seven silver and 14 bronze.
“We will have to join the Ministry of Sports and the Paralympic Committee, look at the budget and how to strengthen them”, said in TV WEEK.
Of the coaches and physical education teachers, he is concerned that many are not sports professionals. He will work for the anti-doping laboratory and its certification. With her look and her experience as a weightlifter, she confessed what has outraged her about Colombian sports and what she is going to fight for from her position.
He does not forget that the Prosecutor’s Office charged coach Giovanny Vega Blanco, for alleged acts and sexual abuse against seven underage athletes in alleged events that occurred between 2014 and 2021, in a sports club that he directed, which was located in Bucaramanga.
“The outrage for me is the sports leaders who do not work. Rape of boys and girls of leaders, coaches, and that is why we will make a sports observatory. The Prosecutor’s Office is going to help us,” he confessed.
Ended in TV WEEK speaking of the happiness generated by the fact that he has come to office thanks to a national outcry.
“I am going to work 24/7 and I will leave the door open for more athletes to reach this position,” he promised in WEEK.