Close to 800 athletes, among them 50 high performance athletes and olympic athletes, participated in the XXI Sports Gala at UCAM
José Luis Mendoza announces establishing the International Sports Integrity Council and Joel González, double olympic medalist as the council’s director
The Catholic University of Murcia is consolidated in the international scene as the ‘University of Sports’, and every june proves it by organising a Gala at the end of the academic year, where they award the best athletes. This year there was a lot to celebrate, highlighted the record achieved at the Spanish University Championship with 141 medals: 86 gold, 40 silver and 15 bronze. Therefore, the sports family of UCAM reunited in the Chapel at the Monastery of Los Jeronimos to tie up this last season.
At the Gala, where 800 athletes participated to create a magnificent vibe, among the participating athletes were the youngest ones from the universities sports teams or teams related to the university, as well as the big stars of UCAM sports, such as Mireia Belmonte, Joel González or Ana Carrasco. José Luis Mendoza, president of UCAM, hosted the act together with Alejandro Blanco, president of the Spanish Olympic Committee. The alliance between these institutions has been key in the launching of the academic and sports projects of the Catholic University, that allows athletes to keep on competing and training at the maximum level without having to renounce superior studies.
For José Luis Mendoza it’s a pleasure to see how the project has come to life, because “it’s an effort to provide a unique service to the athletes, where we work together with the Spanish Olympic Committee. Without Alejandro Blanco this would be impossible, and thanks to him we are achieving that athletes study and go forward in their careers, so that one day they can be incorporated in the professional world, some of them working with us at the university”.
Alejandro Blanco highlighted that “there is no other university in the world with so many athletes, from so many different sports and at this quality. It’s a luxury for Spanish sports to have such a firm support, such as the provided by UCAM. The athletes transmit values to the society with their effort and their success, and it is very important to transfer these into the society. We want to work together with UCAM for a Spain with values and without complexes”.
During the Gala, awards were given to the best of the academic year, but also tributes to the two great athletes, who recently announced their retirement: tennis player Nico Almagro and the captain of UCAM Murcia CB, José Ángel Antelo. Starting from this Gala, the athletes confront a summer full of competitions internationals. Many of these competitions will be already affecting the access to the Olympic games of Tokyo in 2020.
Council for the Athletes
The president of UCAM announced one of the news during the act by communicating on the creation of an International Sports Integrity Council together with the Spanish Olympic Committee with the goal to “investigate in this area and fight against everything that contaminates sports, such as rigging at the matches”. Furthermore, he communicated, that the council will be directed by Joel González, double olympic medalist in taekwondo. He is doing his doctoral thesis at UCAM on the detection of rigging at football matches through sport bettings. At the moment, the athlete is sharing his time between the goal of finishing his doctoral investigation, and the dream of taking part in his third Olympic games in Tokyo 2020.