Barça holds 'Talent beyond sport' day and analyses the challenges and opportunities for building a more balanced society

Barça holds 'Talent beyond sport' day and analyses the challenges and opportunities for building a more balanced society

Meeting promoted by Edelmira Calvetó Group as part of International Women’s Day seeks to assess the importance of sport in people’s all-round training

Today, FC Barcelona held its Talent Beyond Sport workshop in the Auditori 1899 as part of International Women’s Day, the third year in a row that the club has offered an arena for debate of the role of women at the club and in society in general. This session was attended by leading women and former athletes to examine the challenges involved in focusing their professional lives after sports, while Barça also presented the ‘It’s our Moment’ campaign that showcases female talent.

The day, promoted by the Edelmira Calvetó Group (GEC), created in 2011 to support the role of women at Barça and honour their historical legacy, was opened with speeches by Josep Maria Bartomeu, president of FC Barcelona, ​​and by Maria Teixidor, Secretary of the Board of Directors, head of women's football and president of the GEC, who emphasised the importance of a club like Barça continuing to work to build in this area through sport. Not only because it is a core area of the club’s activities, but also because it is a source of learning for personal training.

‘It’s our Moment’, a campaign focused on female talent

During the event, FC Barcelona has launched its campaign to commemorate March 8, which is being presented under the tagline “It’s Our Moment”, through which the club is seeking to showcase female talent and the key role that it can play in building a more balanced, complete society that includes all people in their diversity. Lieke Martens, Asisat Oshoala, Vicki Losada, Leila Ouahabi, ‘Mapi’ León, Jenni Hermoso and Sandra Paños appear in representation of the club’s women’s football team, offering examples of determination, effort and teamwork required to face the challenges of modern society and win a place in areas, like football, that are traditionally a male domain..

Also, as part of the campaign, the club has arranged an action for this Saturday’s game against Real Sociedad, where the men’s team will go onto the pitch accompanied by a group of girls wearing shirts and wristbands with the tagline ‘It’s our Moment’, while a canvas will be unfolded in the middle of the pitch bearing the same message.  

Edelmira Calvetó Award

The Edelmira Calvetó Awards 2020 were presented as part of the event held in the Auditori 1899. These distinguish those people or groups who have worked for equality and the recognition of women, and this year have sought to honour Olympic and Paralympic pioneers, with the winners being named as: Carmen Riu, the first Catalan sportswoman to win a medal at a Paralympic Games, in 1968 in Tel Aviv; as well as the pioneers from the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, Arancha Sánchez-Vicario, silver medallist in tennis doubles and bronze medallist in singles, and the field hockey team that won Spain’s first ever women’s team medal. There was also recognition for FC Barcelona’s first ever female Olympians, figure skater Gloria Mas and athlete Eva Pérez, as well as a posthumous award for Blanca Fernández-Ochoa, the first Spanish medallist at a Winter Olympics at Albertville 1992.

A space for reflection and debate

Talent Beyond Sport, presented by journalist Clara Sánchez-Castro, features different women for whom sport has played a key role in their lives, whether for professional or personal reasons. The first panel of the day was on La Masia: plans for life after sport, and analysed how FC Barcelona designs and plans professional guidance for its athletes. It involved Isabel García, women’s football first team psychologist, and Ana Merayo, member of the Service of Comprehensive Athlete Support at La Masia.

The road from sports success to professional success was the title of the second talk, drawing on the personal experiences of various Olympic athletes and former sportswomen, to raise awareness of the challenges they have had to face in order to become successful women, outside of doing elite sport. It featured Núria Picas, Ultra Trail World Champion and Member of the Catalan Parliament; Ibone Lallana del Río, former taekwondo star; Mònica Bosch, a former athlete and alpine skier; Carla Casals, a former Paralympic athlete, and Maribel Martínez de Murguía, a former athlete and Olympic field hockey champion.

Model and entrepreneur Judit Mascó and former rugby player, designer and public relations officer Mercè Sumarroca led the third session of the afternoon themed Women, Sport and Business. This panel handed over to Sport and social integration in contexts of vulnerability, a discussion between Mària Vallès, director of the Barça Foundation, and Cristina Cabañas, president of the Climent Guitart Foundation, to talk about the two organisations’ social inclusion projects for young migrants.

Friday afternoon is also devoting a space to discuss the role of women in the university world and equality policies in this area, by Anna Berga, President of the Women and Science Commission of the Government of Catalonia, and Gemma Fargas, Vice Rector for Social Responsibility and Equality at the UPC. To conclude the event, consultant and speaker Paula Fernández Ochoa is giving an inspirational talk titled Laugh so nobody can beat you.

Statement by Josep Maria Bartomeu, president of FC Barcelona

“This day is also a tribute to all the women who have fought, and to all those who are still fighting to achieve a society where the rights of women and men are recognised on an equal footing. From Edelmira Calvetó, the woman who overcame the prejudices of a completely male-dominated environment in 1913 to become the first member of our club, to our female athletes today, who are already such excellent models for so many girls and boys who need to grow up and learn in a society in which opportunities are not gendered. I also hope it also helps us to envisage a world that is more open, courageous, unashamed, and more inclusive.”

Statement by Maria Teixidor, board member and head of women’s football

"One more year, the drive of the Edelmira Calvetó Group and as part of the celebrations of International Women’s Day, the Auditori 1899 has been the meeting point for tireless women ready to share experiences, question realities, learn from each other and set guidelines for the road we still have to tread to build the balanced society that we deserve. This year we have focused on talent: that which we have through natural aptitude and that which we shall acquire with knowledge, skills, abilities and competences that, together with the experience gained across different stages of life, each and every one of us will learn".


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