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The appointment had a special recognition to the TM Benidorm player, Carlos Grau, recently retired, to Anémona for its example of improvement and to the deceased journalist Rafa Lago

Benidorm pays tribute to its local athletes at the IX Sports Gala

01 April 2023
Gala del Deporte 2023
Gala del Deporte 2023

Benidorm Cultural Center hosted last night the celebration of the IX Sports Gala, an event that, as on previous occasions, served to honor the most outstanding local athletes and teams during the past season. The event attracted the presence of numerous attendees -athletes and family members- who filled the venue and was attended by the mayor of the city, Toni Pérez, the Councilor for Sports, Mariló Cebreros, and numerous members of the municipal corporation.

The gala was opened by the Councilor for Sports, who highlighted the great importance of local sports in Benidorm with more than 74 clubs and more than 3,000 federated athletes who make use of the municipal facilities weekly. Cebreros highlighted the "effort not only of athletes but also of fathers, mothers, grandparents, etc. who accompany and encourage them every day”.

He also had words for the companies and sponsors and stated that "uniting assets such as Benidorm and sports, we will continue to grow." Finally, he encouraged local athletes to "keep working and enjoying because nothing is out of your reach."

Afterward, awards were given to the most outstanding athletes and clubs last season in their different modalities. The relationship is as follows: The junior team of the Racing Benidorm Football Club, the youngest Oliver Cuevas of the Moo Duk Kwan Benidorm Taekwondo Club, and Benidorm Swimming Club were awarded the youngest mixed team formed by Guillem Olcina, Isaac Contreras, Nadia Martínez and Paula Benedict, the women's children's team made up of Carla Cuesta, Denisa María Urs, Inara Contreras and Nara Cuesta, the children's Artem Shlyapin in the finswimming modality, the youth Carlos Rogel also in finswimming and Diego Cortés, Spanish lifesaving champion, and Lifeguard in 100 meters obstacles.

In motorcycling, the youngster Enzo Zaragoza was recognized. From Club Deportivo Lope de Vega, in the soccer modality, the Alevín A Soccer 8 team was recognized, and the children's karateka Carmen García in the individual kata modality. From the Benidorm Beach Volleyball Club, the children's Lidia González and the men's cadet team stood out.
In football, the children's and cadet women's team of Club Atlético Benidorm and the cadet team of the Foietes Benidorm Football Club were awarded. On the part of the Climbing and Mountaineering Club, Martina Carlassare was distinguished and from the Benidorm Basketball Club, the Servigroup Benidorm male cadet team, and the junior female coach José Manuel Benavente Prado were awarded.

The junior Anne Armas and the master Daniel Armas, both from Cable Ski Benidorm, were also recognized in their category. On behalf of the TAE Benidorm Sports Club, the junior Denis Petiov, the junior Vladimir Safronov, the junior Lucas Mencía, the senior Jonathan Moreno, and Alena Mitrova, runner-up in the 'Special Techniques' Spanish Championship, were honored.

In the category of Adapted Sports, the efforts of the athletes from the Doble Amor center Edu Carvajal, Javi Torres, Paco Cerdán, Marcos López, Lorenzo Pérez, Bibiana Samper, and Manolo Pérez were recognized. The distinguished athlete from Club Náutico Benidorm was Mariano Cebrián who, among other achievements, was the regional champion of ILCA 6.

The Sports Gala also awarded juniors Natasha Server and Brianna Álvarez, from the PS Water Benidorm 26 Artistic Swimming Club. Likewise, in one of the most emotional moments, the Anémona Association and its rowing team were recognized as an "Example of improvement for the entire sports community. A posthumous tribute was also made to the deceased journalist Rafael Lago "for his work in the dissemination of the grassroots sport of Benidorm".

The acknowledgments continued with Benidorm BMX Sports Club, which awarded Miguel Ángel Pérez. Poniente Benidorm Beach Volleyball Club honored the senior men's team made up of Raúl Mesa, Pablo Pérez, Igor Spencer, David Howard, Hugo Huesca, Aaron Bornay, Óscar Feltrer, Robert Assen and Sergio Pérez, and coach José Pérez Turpin.

The senior María Fuentes from the Benidorm Athletics Club, Emma Izquierdo from the Kick Boxing Club, and Kira Dalua from Benidorm Rhythmic Gymnastics Club were the next recognized, along with the first-class team from Llargues/Palma from Benidorm Pilota Club.

The latest distinctions were for Benidorm Handball Club for its meritorious fourth place obtained last season in the ASOBAL League, which entailed its participation in European competitions. The club's second team also had the success of qualifying for the promotion phase to the Silver Division (second category of national handball) played in Lalín (Pontevedra), and the first women's team obtained a creditable 10th place in the Division Silver (second category of national handball).

And finally, a tribute was paid to the club player Carlos Grau Cussac who has just retired after 20 years as a professional player with a total of 363 games for ASOBAL and 756 goals.

The Gala concluded with the intervention of the mayor Toni Pérez who congratulated all the winners and honorees and stressed that "sport makes us all better because it instills values of improvement". He praised the figure of Carlos Grau "whom I met when I was very young playing sports and today is a great figure" and also recalled the figure of Rafa Lago "and his work to give visibility to local sports by dedicating many hours and commitment to it."

In addition, the mayor emphasized that sport "is not only healthy but is a reason to get up every day and fight, sometimes even for one's life." For this reason, he stressed the "incalculable value of the people who continue to show that strength."