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120 students take part in a new edition of the University of Navarra's Talento Deportivo (Sports Talent) programme

The aim is to enable students to combine their studies with professional sports practice.

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The Vice-Rector for Students, Tomás Gómez-Acebo, with the participants in the Talento Deportivo programme.
PHOTO: Manuel Castells
08/10/19 20:04 Elena Terán

120 students from different faculties and in thirty different sporting disciplines are taking part this year in a new edition of the Sports Talent programme, promoted by the University of Navarra's Olympic Studies Centre. The aim is to offer comprehensive training to competitive sportsmen and women, providing them with the necessary support so that they can combine their studies with professional sports practice. The opening ceremony of the programme was held in the sports centre and was attended by the Vice Rector for Students, Tomás Gómez-Acebo

Talento Deportivo allows students to have the help of their teachers to coordinate their academic timetable (theory classes, practical workshops, exams, etc.) with the practice of the sporting disciplines in which they are federated. Students can obtain two credits per course and up to six throughout their degree course. These sportsmen and women receive three sessions a year on nutrition, sports psychology, medical assistance and a complete training so that they can get to know the sports field as a whole.  

Eduardo Prieto Iglesias, from Pamplona and a master's student at Tecnun- Engineering School, is a referee in LaLiga Santander, the first division of Spanish football. Prieto is taking part in the programme for the first time and says that, in order to combine his studies with professional sporting activity, "a lot of organisation and efficiency" is necessary. "If the programme didn't exist, I would have enormous difficulties and I would be forced to choose," he adds.

In a similar situation are Daria Abasheva and Antonio Bazán, 4th and 6th year students, respectively, at the Faculty of Medicine. Abasheva practices fencing and Antonio Bazán, from Zizur Mayor, is a professional handball player with Helvetia Anaitasuna and the Spanish national team. They have participated in the programme since the beginning of their studies. They point out that it provides flexibility and allows them to talk to teachers to change exam dates, class schedules and practices. 

Yarima Miranda Ilundain, from Lakuntza and a first year student of the Degree in History + Diploma in Archaeology, has competed since the age of 15 in the 1st and 2nd division of women's indoor football. "Thanks to sport, I have met people from all over the world, I have been able to travel all over Spain and even abroad," she says. For her, the Talento Deportivo programme is an opportunity "to continue playing and to be able to perform to the maximum in both study and sport". 

The students will take part in and act as ambassadors for the sports yearbook, an initiative of the University's Sports Service that aims to raise awareness of all students who play sport, whether they are members of a federation or not. 

The director of the Sports Service, Javier Trigo, stressed that the main thing for the students must be to study, "as the aim is for all of them to finish their degrees in an excellent way", he said. At the same time, he invited them not to neglect sport. The Vice-Rector for Students, Tomás Gómez-Acebo, closed the event by thanking the participants: "We trust you, that's why we give you the Sports Talent seal; because you know how to look at others and think about the team, the effort and the work".

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