Cadiz CF Genuine, champions not just in LaLiga but in life too
The sun was high in the sky over Cadiz when the coach carrying the players of Cadiz CF Genuine arrived in front of the town hall. A long line of yellow shirts bearing the word ‘Campeones’, led by the city’s mayor, José María González, showed how the people of Andalusia expressed their pride and gratitude towards the group of athletes that had won the LaLiga Genuine championship. A party soon started at the ‘Nuevo Mirandilla’ stadium. The players and their families were welcomed by the club’s directors, who praised the way the amazing team had managed, in the one season, to add a long list of trophies to display cabinet: Coppa Andalusia Championship, Andalusia Futsal Championship, Ciudad de Mérida Trophy, Andalusia + Social Award, Ciudad de Cadiz Award, along with wins in the Lega Inclusiva Andalusa and LaLiga Genuine Santander. “Your team has achieved the best ever results for our club,” stated Manuel Vizcaíno, president of Cadiz CF. “We believe in you and shall always support you.”
The value of inclusivity in sport
Cadiz CF Genuine is a team of youngsters with learning disabilities that plays in the LaLiga Genuine Santander, an inclusive and socially responsible football project set up in 2016 that became a tournament the following year. The project involved all the teams in the Liga and was coordinated by the LaLiga foundation. Every year, more and more clubs are joining the list of participants in this tournament for boys’ and mixed teams of youngsters aged 16 and over. In addition to conventional results, the tournament considers positive attitudes on the pitch, players’ behaviour and fair play. The championship highlights the importance of participation and commitment in promoting inclusivity. In sport, there should no barriers, only passion, commitment, solidarity, generosity and joy. And joy can certainly be seen in the eyes of the youngsters of Cadiz CF whenever they walk onto the pitch.
A win for the whole city, not just the club
The lads of Cadiz CF Genuine are the pride, not only of their club but also of the entire city, as director of the Cádiz CF Foundation and deputy president of the club, José Mata, explained: “Congratulations on what you have achieved, not only for the club, but also for the city of Cadiz and the entire province. You are champions and that is something incredible. You are also the most important team in our club.” Mata’s words were confirmed by those of the mayor of Cadiz, José María González: “You are a source of pride for the city of Cadiz, and not only in sport, because apart from winning at football, you have shown yourselves to be role models for everybody here.”
Become Your Own Hero
For this group of young people lifting the LaLiga Genuine Champions’ Cup is the end of an ambitious journey and the target they set themselves each time they played. To win it, they had to overcome obstacles and combine their individual talents in perfect teamwork. The achievement required determination, passion, effort, commitment, and love for football and for companions. This is what it takes to become your own hero. These particular heroes wear shirts the same colour as the Cadiz sun, and in their eyes have the same light as every youngster in the world who can put on football boots, chase a ball on a pitch, and feel part of a team and of something even more important.