Barcelona, July 10th 2015.- During the Pau Gasol Academy, where 100 kids from all over Spain spend a week improving their fundamentals on basketball with Pau Gasol and his professional crew, that took place between July 5th and July 11th at the CAR in Sant Cugat del Vallés, Barcelona (CAR, High Performance Facility), the Gasol Foundation organized a working day for the younger ones to learn about adaptive sports and get a basic knowledge on healthy habits.
The session started with an inspiring and motivational speech given by Paralympic swimmer, Toni Ponce. ‘I have a leg injury and so I cannot walk like you. I started swimming at the age of 6. it’s hard for me to move into and out of the water, but while in the water, I’m able to move quite easily. When you’re pursuing a dream in life, there is always the possibility that you may fall short of your goal. But you must give everything you’ve got and give it your best shot’.
Afterwards, the children experimented with several different types of adaptive sport activity: wheelchair basketball, disability swimming and handbiking via the assistance and instruction provided by the Federació Catalana d’Esports de Persones amb Discapacitat Física. They realized how complicated is to practice adaptive sports, as Fernando, one of the young participants, explained: ‘Often we do not consider the difficulties that people with disabilities face every day. Having the chance to experiment with adaptive movement like this, in person, can be very rewarding and interesting experience. It’s something that opens your eyes. There is a respect there now.You realize that things are actually quite difficult’. In fact, really difficult, as Pedro, another attendee, highlighted: ‘ When you play wheelchair basketball, you have yo pay attention to the wheels and catch the ball at the same time. It’s very complicated! It feels like one of the most complicated things in the world!’.
The day ended perfectly with a sports and healthy food discussion for both parents and children, lead by Saioa Segura. Segura, nutritionist of the CAR in St. Cugat, Barcelona (CAR, High Performance Facility) high-lined the importance of having a good, varied meals, and the need of good rest and sleeping well, in order to transmit to the kids and teenagers how important nutrition is for their development: ‘Diet is key part of our daily life. We have to be educated on what are the best food choices for our bodies. What is the best diet? One that has balanced variety’.
Marc and Pau Gasol joined Saioa and shared their experience and their own habits: ”In our family, dinnertime at home was a very respected time of day because it was when we could all be together. We even made an effort to keep the TV off in order to foster dialogue’ said Pau. Diet and sports, two of the key habits of the Gasol brothers: ‘Playing sports provides a wonderful sense of satisfaction! You’re improving your skills, you’re becoming healthier. But also you feel happier and your mood greatly improves’ pointed out Marc.
The Gasol Foundation has granted two complete scholarships for two kids, so that they will be able to get Pau Gasol Academy’s training and enjoy all the activities, for free.