More than 1,000 children and youngsters from schools and colleges in Barcelona have been initiated in the practice of this sports discipline during the 2017-18 academic year as part of the municipal sports programme during school hours entitled ‘L’escola fa esport a la ciutat’ (Schools play sport in the city).

For Sports Commissioner Marta Carranza, these projects show that international events not only bring sports excellence to the city, but also have an impact on the city’s grassroots sport. The opportunity of celebrating the Basque Pelota World Championships in Barcelona means that our schoolchildren have the chance to learn more about and practice this sport.

The programme was created with the aim of continuing in the coming years and its goal is to recover the passion for this sport, which was deeply rooted in Catalonia years ago.

Barcelona will once again be the world’s sports capital from 14 to 20 October. But this time because of the sport of Basque pelota with the staging of some splendid World Championships in which the world’s best will be competing. Among other projects, part of the legacy of these Championships is that of grassroots promotion to instil in young people the passion for this sport, which was once so deeply rooted in Catalonia.

With the aim of promoting the practice of Basque pelota, Barcelona City Council incorporated this sport into the programme ‘L’escola fa esport a la ciutat’ in order to take it to schools and colleges. The goal is to ensure that a maximum number of students aged between 10 and 16 can learn about the various specialities of this sport. Promoted by the Barcelona Sports Institute (IBE), with the collaboration of the Catalan Federation of Basque Pelota, the activity has already had a direct impact on more than 1,000 children who have been initiated in the specialities of bat-paddle, hand, jai alai and frontenis.

The activity has been underway throughout this school year and will continue in the next 2018-19 academic year. Schools were provided with a pack of materials to conduct the programme that included wicker scoops, pelota balls for each speciality, bats and paddles and a didactic unit on Basque pelota from the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council. Specialised monitors in the sport who had been previously advised by the Catalan Federation of Basque Pelota have been responsible for conducting the sessions.