It’s funny to see how people behave the first time. The excitement to find out how it will go, the butterflies in the stomach because of the transcendence of the moment, the nervous laughter and the commitment to make everything perfect. There were many emotions experienced in the first edition of the Athena Awardsorganized by Diari de Girona in a gala with more than 150 people at the Sant Ponç GEiEG, with the aim of valuing, making visible and rewarding the effort, talent and sporting achievements of the province. And there is a lot of talent and success in Girona, represented in the proper names of the five awardees: el Press Augury the best promise was for the Garatge Plana Girona player biel nadalhe Masters Premium to the Values of a Club for theAE Fornellshe Press Applause for Exemplary Sports Behavior for the Oncotrail racehe Press Life in the Long Career for the CPA Girona trainer and choreographer Nuri Soler and the Premius is better to Best Sportswoman for the Barça footballer Laia Codina.
Any wink is good to commemorate a night like this. ‘Temps de Canvis’ was the opening song chosen by Lithuanian, the artist who put a great sound on the gala sponsored by Clínica Bofill and Actúa Serveis Médics, supported by GEiEG and with the main collaboration of Esportcat-Generalitat de Catalunya, MGC Mútua, Conforama and Munich; and presented by the Editor-in-Chief of the Diari de Girona Jordi Roura and the journalist Carles Baldellou. ‘Times of Change’ means that there are four sports organizations in the city of Primera. It is an unprecedented milestone. But there are thousands, anonymous ones, who are also of the highest level. “Clubs have a machinery of people behind them that make them work. It’s invaluable and you’re all, in one way or another, the winners of the Athena Awards“, said the director of Diari de Girona Josep Callol. The power of the people is unstoppable.
Biel Nadal’s CV, despite his 16 years, impresses: he has already made his debut in the OK League and is European champion with the Spanish under-17 team. Nadal won the Augurium Award ahead of Girona footballer Mariona Señé and skater Abril Vallmajó. “I’ve had a great season. Teammates like Jaume Llaverola make everything easier.” Nadal has finished high school. “I would like to study pharmacy.”
Francesc Triola had the same twinkle in his eyes: “The course has been stratospheric. We are lucky to have a group of people willing to push forward.” Fornells is a small town with a sports group consisting of different sections, such as handball, basketball and skating, which do not stop celebrating milestones. They collected the Master’s Award, surpassing the GEiEG Adapted Sport and the Olímpico Farners.
Helping others, even if it often doesn’t make headlines, is more important than titles. And in this the Oncotrail, a 100 km team race organized by the Fundació Oncolliga Girona together with the Agrupació Excursionista Palafrugell and the Club Atlètic Palafrugell and which aims to raise funds to improve the quality of life of cancer patients , has no rival. The Plausus Award remained, to which Pere Puig and Futbol Base Vilobí also opted. “Twelve years ago, when we started, we didn’t imagine we’d get to where we are. And we’re very happy that, over time, so many signs of solidarity have come out,” explained Lluís Comet, who, without pretending to, he planted a seed.
When we talk about trajectories, you have to stand up with Nuri Soler, the winner of the Premi Vitae ahead of the gymnast Nora Santaló and the goalkeeper of the Garatge Plana Girona Jaume Llaverola. Soler, in the world of skating, is an inspiration. Without going any further, this year, their farewell after twenty-five years will leave the flag high at CPA Girona: they have won the Spanish and European championships and aspire to their second World Cup. “Leaving is not an easy decision, but there comes a time when you have to listen to your heart. I have learned to enjoy it, because there are many hours of work for five minutes of performance. I am very excited,” she confessed.
Hours before finding out if she will be part of the Spanish team that will participate in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Campllong and Barça footballer Laia Codina, winner of the League and Champions League, was chosen for the Melius Award in sportsman of the year. “What we have always instilled in her, at home, is to keep her feet on the ground, because a thousand things can happen and a trajectory can be cut short. She has values, she is still from the farm,” recognized her mother, Núria Panedas. “It is an honor to represent the Girona lands,” said Codina in a video. The list also included the athlete Bárbara Ramon and the taekwondo player Joan Jorquera.
Anna Caula, the general secretary of Sport of the Generalitat, closed the gala by assuring that “sport adds many different tools to our backpack. Sport binds you, makes you understand the community in a different way. The values of this country are very powerful.” It was a beautiful night.
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