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The president of Unión Financiera celebrates the 30 years of the club and promises handball at the highest level in Oviedo: “We want to arrive and consolidate ourselves in Asobal”

The Unión Financiera Balonmano Base Oviedo celebrates its thirtieth anniversary; In reality, it is already on its way to 31 years, since it was founded in September 1993, but it is commemorating the thirtieth season since Pepe Rionda, its current president, and other sports and Carbayón handball enthusiasts decided to launch a project that has always distinguished itself by placing the care of the quarry at the center of everything – even in the name. At 78 years old, Rionda assures that he has plenty of energy left for a while and that he will not stop until Oviedo once again has a handball team in the Asobal League. For now, the Silver team plays today, at 6:30 p.m., against Villa de Aranda in Vallobín, an event that the club will take advantage of to present all its teams.

–When I was in Naranco as a delegate, I was with four presidents, the last of them José Emilio Martínez Fariza, I don’t know what happened but the grassroots teams were closed and I left the club for that and other things. I always thought that you have to go for the base. The fact is that I was at home and José Ramón Villa and Paco Álvarez, linked to Naranco, came for me and told me “Pepe, we have to do something”, and we left with clear ideas. We had to name it, due to bureaucratic issues, Xuntura Base Oviedo, which is what we call ourselves for all the organizations.

–Was he president from the beginning?

–From the first day, president and everything, we had to work a lot. Players arrived, in two or three years we had teams in all categories: senior, youth, cadet, children, then the schools. We started with the recruitment, more people joined and we reached 400 kids, now there are 300 because the pandemic cut us off.

–They were removing players.

–We were consolidating with players who left here like Nacho Huerta, Maxi Cancio, Javier Borragán, players that we did not have the category to retain and who went to Naranco and Juanfersa later. We always gave them freedom to do so.

–What did the arrival of Heriberto Fernández, “Caco”, to sports management mean?

–It was later, as soon as I called him he came, and it was very important because of his knowledge of handball both in Spain and abroad. People like Borja Trujillo and Juan Suárez are also very important because in a club like this there is a lot of work to do: court schedules, referees, travel…

–At what point is the project now?

–Quarry, quarry and quarry.

–But the first team has been gaining in importance.

–That has cost us and the arrival of a sponsor like Unión Financiera, who has believed in us, has been very important. This costs money. Before, people played disinterestedly, although I always understood that it was better for them to win something because here we demand from everyone.

–They are in the Silver Honor Division and are the main men’s team in Asturias.

–But always thinking about the base and that the coach knows that he has to look to the youth team. Even if there is money, which there isn’t, at least half the staff has to be Asturian. Not all of them are going to leave our base, it would be wonderful if 100% were Asturian, but it is complicated.

–Are you about to go up to Asobal?

-No no. I am content with being in the middle of the table and consolidating the team in Silver, next season we will see. The Asobal is expensive.

-And in the future?

–Our idea is to arrive and consolidate ourselves in the highest category. That Oviedo football is in First Division, that Oviedo basketball reaches the ACB and that we are in Asobal; With that, the city changes for the better, it gives you a plus, but you need facilities, money and work.

–And where does the money come from?

–A part of the institutions, if what we do is not valued and if we are not all treated equally, it is complicated.

–And what facilities do they need?

–Right now, a little more would be better, but nothing happens. For us at this moment the Palace would be chaos. A thousand people are not seen there. We are doing well in Vallobín and if we built a medium-sized sports center it would be good for minority sports.

–What has been your most beautiful moment with the Base?

–After all the work the club did in the promotion phase to Silver, I am left with that moment. I remember a game with the kids in the youth category, with Huerta and others, that we had to win by 18 in Galicia and we achieved it. But the most significant thing was the promotion phase.

–What does the club mean to you?

-It’s my family.

2024-02-17 03:00:26
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