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Argentine gymnasts cannot travel to represent our country due to lack of funding

Argentine gymnasts cannot travel to represent our country due to lack of funding
Argentine gymnasts cannot travel to represent our country due to lack of funding

The situation is nothing new. And it is worse in lesser-known or less traditional sports that have little space in the media. Currently, there is a lack of support from national federations that do not take responsibility for anything, even if the athletes represent the country.

This is the case of Soul and April They are 13 years old and have been training for this since they were 7. Both gymnasts are qualified for the world championship. They are the only ones in their category who will represent Argentina.

One of them last year was champion among 81 gymnasts from 10 different countries at the Pan American Cup in Peru 2023.

Both teams were champions at the 2024 National Club Championship held this year in Mendoza, where the World Cup qualifiers took place.

Gymnasts and coaches do not receive any kind of benefit from any entity. Flights, lodging, accommodation, registration, tuition, everything is paid for by them. Athletes who want to compete at an international level, even if they are representatives of our country, must pay their own fees.

Who are Alma and Abril?

Alma and Abril are two 13-year-old gymnasts who live in La Matanza. They have been students of Youth Aerobic Gymnastics since they were 6 years old and have been living this sport with total passion and commitment ever since. They always aim to continue growing day by day and they show it in every training session, in every tournament, and at all times.

What does it mean to them to be able to travel?

First of all, it is a dream come true to participate in a World Cup, since they have dedicated a large part of their lives to training for 7 years, and to be able to represent our country doing what they love so much is a great achievement and pride.

Why do you think there should be a national policy to support athletes?

Both women and men, like any other high-performance athlete, put their body and soul into each training session. They dedicate hours, days and even their lives to this. Being at the national team level should be equally valued in all sports and, therefore, benefit in some way to encourage sporting growth throughout the country, especially among young people.

Why were you chosen to represent the Argentine national team?

Alma in the individual category and Abril in the mixed pair category participated in two qualifying tournaments to achieve this qualification. Their scores in both tournaments were what defined their ranking, thus qualifying for the World Championships to be held in Italy and the Pan American Championships to be held in Panama. Today our priority is to get the money together for the World Championships and if luck is on our side, we will also aim to represent our country in the Pan American Championships.

Do you know other Almas and Abrils who cannot realize their life dreams due to lack of funding? What happens to them?

The entire Argentine delegation that will travel to the World Cup is made up of different people from different parts of the country. We are all in the same situation and we try by all possible means to raise the money to be able to cover all the expenses that international travel entails. Sometimes it becomes a little frustrating not knowing if we will arrive or not with the necessary money, but this is what we work for, so we never give up.

How much money needs to be raised and what would it be used for?

Flights are a little less than US$2,000 each. To that we must add transfers, lodging and accommodation. It is a very high cost indeed.

How can you help?

Everything is very helpful. We have a link available to donate money to us and on our Instagram account you can find all the information and get to know us a little better.

We are Laura and Sofia, your trainers, and we really appreciate the dissemination.

Instagram @aerobica_juventud

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Alias: aerobicajuventud

Source: Ambito

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