JIMAGUAYÚ, CAMAGÜEY.- Two years ago Noel Andrés Luis had a son in the community of Quan Tri. They are not bonded by genetic nor legal ties, but for a common passion: wrestling. Since the day “the teacher” saw a champion in him, Christian Cancino Pérez became another member of his family. “Having him living over there, I could not train him properly. So, one day I asked to have him here in Jimaguayú during the week, so I could keep him around to explode the talent he has”, says Noel.

Life has proven him right. Many afternoons spent on the mat in the small gym they use for training, other many competitions and matches have been a part in the formula that changed Christian in the national runner-up in his category (ages 11-12) and assured him a position in the Eide Cerro Pelado for next course.

For the last 29 years Noel has devoted to find “diamonds” in Jimaguayú, the second municipality with the lowest population in the province. Sometimes it may seem like the work of a goldsmith. “You have to search in every community, talk to the parents. There are only two couches in the municipality (Omar Ricardo Sarmiento, his colleague, in charge of feminine wrestling in the kilometer 17 of the road to Santa Cruz del Sur) and sometimes we cannot accomplish everything we want to; for instance, we do not have the Greco-Roman wrestling modality because there is no one to teach it. Even though, I do not think we are doing so poorly”. The results in pioneer contests, the contributions to high performance and the stability of the territory – that has maintained on the top of the provincial lists for years – are his best evidence to prove so.

OF HANDS AND WILLS

Thanks to the invention by Roberto Crespo Basulto, the Elementary School Tamara Bunke does not lack in gears for the lessons in Physical Education. The gymnastic choreographies, which Jimaguayú uses to compete in provincial events, would not be possible either without a very simple – and yet so useful – object like its markers. “The idea came to me from the old VHS boxes we used to use in the Audiovisual Program. We make those markings that are so useful and sometimes indispensable when working with children.

Wood and cardboard scraps, old bicycle tires, or tapes from videotapes knitted as a rope that then is used in the athletics competitions, are some of the “weapons” that Roberto uses to face his job, and that have made him one of the more awarded contesters in the Inder and Education forums in municipalities´ level. The most important thing, however, is that he has managed to defeat the privations with his wit.

Also known for their wit are Luis Manuel Fernández León and Wedmar López Rodríguez, badminton and chess coaches, respectively. The first one devotes his afternoons to coach children and youngsters in the community Rescate de Sanguily – best known as La Pata —, where he encourages the pride of being “David Lescano Artiles´ first coach, the little boy from ‘Alma de gigante’”.

Wedmar, at the same time, recollects how the science game has defenders in Jimaguayú, in spite of the small population. “For some people, our results can be considered as discrete, but that would be a parcial way of seeing it” says. “We are a small territory, but in each victory, or even in the wins we could not make, we put a lot of efforts. People do not quit in this municipality”.

Translated by Elianna Díaz Mendieta, 3rd year English Language Student