Alfonso Sanmartín lived yesterday an atypical day in his routine. From the first hour the congratulations began to arrive at the time that they were accumulating thanks for doing. This is what happens when your name appears published in the Official Gazette of Galicia in the midst of a select group of entities and important figures within Galician sport. Sanmartín is the only representative of the counties of Deza and Tabeirós-Terra de Montes among those chosen that the Xunta de Galicia has decided to honor by awarding them a distinction for Galician sporting merit, prizes that will be awarded in recognition of outstanding work or career and exemplary in sports.
– How have you received this award granted by the Xunta to your career as president of EDM A Estrada?
“It was something I didn’t count on at all. I just do my job and sometimes things go well, thanks also to the people around me. There are times when they don’t turn out so well, so we try not to make it too noticeable. I understand that someone must have thought of me for this award, although I don’t really know why.
-Something will have to do with his work at the head of the club.
-Yes, it’s been thirty years in EDM. I also suppose that the organization of the Galician phases of minibasket, the collaboration with the Galician federation or with the city council counted… it all adds up.
-How did you end up in this basketball thing?
-I started going with my sons Alfonso and Luis to the games, more or less around 1990. The EDM Estradense was created with the idea of separating the kids who played basketball and disconnecting them from football. Before that we participated as Estradense. There came a time when we decided to separate the two things. José López Vilariño remained as president and I joined as secretary. I remember that at that time my wife and I were in charge of taking the kids to the games. They were still cadets. He was traveling with a van owned by Construcciones Carballo with nine children. The rest came in another car with others.
–How did you end as president of the EDM?
–It was in August 1996. Vilariño said that he wanted to leave it and be a little more on the sidelines, so I became president by mutual agreement and without problems. From there he continued to collaborate with the club.
-Those were other times, however EDM is a club that has managed to maintain its initial essence.
In the end, you always have to do the same things. Taking care of the teams, the schools, signing up for Xogade… the same thing every year. This is a very familiar club. The first team players end up becoming coaches of the lower categories or the first team like David now. There was always a great understanding between everyone. An important person in this sense is Bilba. He was always supporting and working in the quarry. He controlled everything. He now he is still quite a special collaborator. No one should be forced to do things, but it is important that someone coordinate a little. I guess that’s something that happens everywhere.
-In all these years there would be better and worse times in the EDM A Estrada.
-There were almost never worse. We always have a good time whenever we have to go out there, especially with the smaller teams.
– Sporting yes they had a bit of everything.
-Here we always bet on the people of the house and friends who came to lend us a hand. I believe, however, that the most important achievement we had was when we managed to bring Moncho Fernández. He was a great support and the person who gave structure to the club. I think from there it was when we really started to be a club. Then we all knew what we had to do. It was an important change that we ended up valuing over time but not the moment we made it.
-The pillar of this club, as its name indicates, was always in the quarry.
-Definitely. Every year we have more than a hundred players in the quarry, so we can say that hundreds of Estradenses passed through here in all this time. Some stayed and others left. A bit of everything.
–How do you assess the current situation of the entity in the midst of the wide leisure offer that there is at the moment?
–The EDM tries to endure. We are now in a line of doing many different things. Soon we will have news. It’s important to move. If we didn’t, I don’t think I would be given this distinction.
“Every day I look older and I feel more tired”
–And on a personal level, don’t you get tired after so many years leading the team?
-No, I am very happy in the club and with the people who are in it. You will not always agree with everyone, but we all work in the same direction. That helps you keep going. I am very grateful for the support of the City Council but also of the people, who always supported us. Then there is the Galician federation, which brought the mini-basketball finals here, all thanks to a president who trusted us on his day.
-I understand then that there is still a president in the EDM A Estrada for a while.
–I don’t know that. Every day I look older and feel more tired. Maybe I have to think about setting up a section for retirees.
-What do you keep from all these years you’ve spent at the club?
– Mainly with all the people I met and with all the people who helped us and collaborated with us. I have very few people who did not comply with us.
-Who was going to tell him when he started this through his children that he was going to spend thirty years in basketball.
-I have to admit that my thing is not basketball, it’s trout. It’s fishing. That is my favorite sport. I haven’t gone fishing since I started going to basketball with them. I must be one of the few fishing enthusiasts in Spain who don’t have to renew my fishing license, because I never got one. I don’t even have the first one because they didn’t discharge me when they started with that new story.