The opening ceremony marks the official start of the 26th edition of the Costa Blanca Cup, with more than 4,000 players

The mayor welcomes young athletes at a gala in which the oldest female club in Spain was honored
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The opening ceremony marks the official start of the 26th edition of the Costa Blanca Cup, with more than 4,000 players.
The opening ceremony marks the official start of the 26th edition of the Costa Blanca Cup, with more than 4,000 players.

The 26th edition of the Costa Blanca Cup, the reference international baseball tournament, has already begun to roll. Julio Iglesias auditorium of Parque de l'Aigüera hosted last night the opening ceremony of the tournament, in which more than 4,000 players from 15 countries participate. A tournament that will be played until this Saturday in the sports facilities of Benidorm and seven other locations in the province, mainly Marina Baixa.

The mayor, Toni Pérez, welcomed the participants last night, who had previously paraded along the first line of Levante beach and who together with their families filled the auditorium, which also included the Councilor for Sports, Mariló Cebreros ; several councilors of the municipal corporation; and Fernando Brotons, director of Tour-Sport, tournament organizing company.

In the name of the city, Pérez told the participants that "Benidorm is delighted to have you here", and also "to host a tournament like the Costa Blanca Cup" which is "an example of coexistence and inclusion, and since its first edition , 26 years ago, has firmly committed to women's sports. " In fact, at the same gala, the oldest female football club in Spain was honored: the CD Camporrobles. The mayor delivered a commemorative plaque to the members of the club, among which was Ruth García, current player of Levante UD and the Spanish National Team and Ambassador of this edition of the Costa Blanca Cup.

A fireworks castle put an end to the gala, which also saw two dance performances.

Issue number of 2019

In this 26 Costa Blanca Cup, with more than 4,000 players, 15 countries are represented, highlighting the debut of Taiwan, which extends to more than 65 the list of nations that have participated in the tournament since its first edition. Thus, teams from Brazil, the United States, England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, France, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Morocco, Japan and China. This year the countries with the highest representation are the United States (17 teams), Iceland (8 teams) and Japan (7 teams).

One more year, the Costa Blanca Cup will give visibility to the female categories, present in the tournament since its first edition. To this edition there are 400 players spread over 26 teams from 5 countries: the United States, Iceland, Japan, England and Spain.

For the fifth consecutive year the Costa Blanca Cup includes the CB Inclusive modality for players with intellectual disabilities to participate in the competition, the environment of a tournament and the experience of coexistence with other players and contribute to their integration. Hercules CF and CD Tenerife premiered along with Levante UD and Elche CF who repeat, contesting the matches at Guillermo Amor today and tomorrow.

Another of the mainstays of the Costa Blanca Cup is futsal, which this year celebrates its 15th anniversary with the largest participation in the history of the tournament: it increases by 30% compared to 2018 to reach 81 teams and almost a thousand players. In addition, a formative 'clinic' is given by the coach of Equatorial Guinea, Ricardo Íñiguez, and the captain of the Guinean team, Roberto Tobe.

The tournament is held in eight venues: Benidorm, Altea, Calpe, La Nucía, Polop, Villajoyosa, l'Alfàs el Pi and Alicante. The finals of the different categories will be retransmitted by streaming.