Monday, March 27, 2017

José Enrique Barcia: "I have a feeling that something big is going to happen in Spanish Orienteering this year"



The Spanish Orienteering Federation has, since last 10th December, a new President, José Enrique Barcia. He is the guest of Portuguese Orienteering Blog, telling about his ideas and proposals, his dreams and ambitions for the four years of his term.


How did you feel accepting the charge of President of the Spanish Orienteering Federation for the next four years?

José Enrique Barcia (J. E. B.)
- I felt great, like everyone who loves things to which they are committed.What legacy did you receive from the previous governing body?

J. E. B.
- Spanish Orienteering Federation is very grateful to my predecessor in office. He and his crew have worked hard for our sport.


I believe that economic problems are your biggest concern and dealing successfully with them will be your main goal. What strategies have you made to move forward?

J. E. B. - Joaquim, look: it is not the economic problem that worries me the most; what worries me the most is the lack of recognition of our sport as what it is: a demanding, spectacular, very technical, very complete sport. The day we fit Orienteering into society - and I'm sure we will do it -, it will be the day our economic problems will finish. Summarizing, we have to work really hard looking forward to introduce Orienteering to our society.

How do you see the role of the Autonomic Leagues in Spain and its heterogeneity? Is Orienteering in Spain moving at different speeds?

J. E. B.
- Unfortunately the development of orienteering is not the same throughout Spain. Ideally, all the autonomies would be able to enjoy a strong and competitive League and that, effectively, doesn't exist. But I'm very confident that, during this period of 2016-2020, we will manage to create a Territorial Federation in each autonomy and then create territorial leagues strong enough to reach the level of the excellent Northern League and the exciting Southeastern League.


One of the considerations of your program is about celebrating the Spanish Orienteering Championships in two or three different stages, moving away from the traditional meeting time of the Spanish orienteering family during Easter. Has your proposal been well received?

J. E. B.
- Well, my proposal only set expectations higher among orienteers. In fact, Victor García did the same on his application proposal, so I can say that it has been very well received. How couldn't it be? From now on, we will have two great parties of the Spanish Orienteering and not just one!


Of course, not all of it are “thorns”. Would you like to say something about the “roses” of the Spanish Orienteering?

J. E. B.
- Working for the benefit of the sport that you love above all compensates the few bad moments.


MTB Orienteering, Adventure Racing, Rogaine, even Ski Orienteering are, in addition to Foot Orienteering, objects of interest of your "Program of Action and Considerations in relation to the Presidency of the Spanish Orienteering Federation”. However, there isn't a single word about Trail Orienteering. May I ask why?

J. E. B.
- Well, I can't tell you why. What I can tell you is that the Spanish Orienteering Federation and me, personally, are very interested in the development of Trail Orienteering. In fact, one of the first meetings we had, just after me becoming president, was held with the single goal of promoting Trail Orienteering and I have made some proposals in this regard.


How has the battle of the first 100 days of Presidency been?

J. E. B.
- I can't say, honestly, that I have been engrossed in any battle. I'm, in general, very happy with how things are going. I only hope that the Federative life treats me, along my term, as well as it has done up until now.


You've been to Portugal and attended the Portugal O' Meeting recently. What lessons have you learned from the experience?

J. E. B.
- I love the Portugal O' Meeting, the great organization, the great show that is developed, the level of competitors it attracts, the great choice of terrains that is made, the magnificent courses which, in general, can be enjoyed ... It is certainly one of the great events of European orienteering ... I would like to have something like this in Spain ... there are competitions starting to approach that level but we have not achieved such high standards yet. In short, the Portugal O' Meeting is a model to follow.


Are there any aspects that can be improved in the relation between the Portuguese and the Spanish Federations?

J. E. B.
- During the Portugal O' Meeting I met the new President of the Portuguese Orienteering Federation, having the chance to exchange views with him. We are both willing to work hard together with the goal of increasing Orienteering in the Iberian Peninsula.


Without asking you to dabble in futurology, how do you expect to see Spanish Orienteering after your first year of Presidency?

J. E. B.
- I have a feeling that something big is going to happen in Spanish Orienteering this year ...


I would ask you to share your greatest wish?

J. E. B.
- A wish... My big wish is to see the Spanish Orienteering on the front page of the sports newspapers ... and that, this year, news get to the “Marca”: the announcement that one of our runners has climbed to the podium.

[Photo courtesy of José Enrique Barcia]

Joaquim Margarido

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