Culture, Sports

Guanacaste Kids Are the Here and Now of Athletics

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They say children are our future, but in the case of Guanacastecan athletics, they’re the present. In the last Costa Rican National Games, they reached the top, winning gold, silver and bronze medals.

Nicoya won two gold medals, Cañas won two silvers and Santa Cruz won two bronzes.

Athletic Kids, the official name for children’s athletics, includes several events such as resistance races, throwing a pedagogical pole (similar to the javelin, but used to teach) and activities to develop motor skills for kids with the concept of “learning by playing.”

How Were Results Achieved?

Nicoya coach Luis Obando said his team has 30 kids aged 7-11 from the communities of Curime, San Antonio and San Vicente, for example. Each year, the team brings medals back to the canton.

Of the medals we win at National Games, 75 percent are in athletics,” he said.

Cañas is another Guanacaste canton that has made important strides.

Cañas coach Wagner Espinoza highlighted the team’s persistence. One advantage is that communities are safe places for kids to walk and run freely.

“Here they can run around and go on errands, whereas I think it is more difficult in San José,” he said.

Santa Cruz coach Eduardo Avilés agreed: The environment in which the kids live helps their physical development.

“The environment fosters kids’ physical development without so many restrictions. They can run in the plazas, climb trees, and that’s due to our rural area,” he said.

Pampa Kids in Liberia

In Liberia, about 50 kids practice the discipline. Their enthusiasm has prompted Liberia’s Cantonal Sports Committee to organize the event Pampa Kids, which brings together children from all over Guanacaste and the rest of the country.

The event takes place Nov. 5-6 at the Edgardo Baltodano Briceño Stadium.

Juan Herra, regional coordinator of Athletics Kids in Guanacaste, said the event is officially recognized by the Costa Rican Athletics Federation, and more than 200 kids are expected to participate.

Entry is free, and participating kids are given a certificate of participation. For more information, call: 8701-2713.