Though futnet does not have a very long tradition in the Basque Country, at the end of 2011 the Basque Futnet Association (AVAFUT) is very satisfied with the results achieved in a little more than a year since its foundation. In this article AVAFUT takes stock of its first futnet season.
“Having been founded on 5 April 2010, AVAFUT was present on 17 April 2010 as one of the founding countries of European Futnet Association (EFTA), with our president becoming a member of EFTA Executive Committee.
On 1 September 2010, thanks to the great enthusiasm of all AVAFUT members and an excellent work of the professionals from Berein, our webpage was born which would, since then, cover all our events and activities. An advanced content management system is designed to include all the data of our future competitions.
In October 2010, together with other 14 countries, our association took part in the foundation of the world futnet-governing body Union Internationale de Futnet (UNIF) in Geneva.
The same month, AVAFUT received the great news from the EFTA Executive Committee which unanimously approved its bid to host the European Championships for Women and Juniors in 2011. The main partners of the event would be the Baskonia‘s sports centre BAKH (championship venue) and the Madrid-based communication company Óbice Comunicación (all promotion aspects of the event, including the webpage, logo, flyers etc.).
In December 2010, the first official futnet tournament – Christmas Tournament – in the Basque Country and, at the same time, in Spain was held in Vitoria with the participation of four teams.
In January and February 2011 an “Introduction to Futnet” course is held over three days, providing futnet basics to the participants of both sexes for whom it is their first contact with this sport.
On 20 February, supported by its main partner BAKH sports centre, the first futnet league in the Basque Country makes a starts with six teams. It finished on 29 May, with the victory claimed by the juniors team of Parquets Juber.
On 4 and 5 June EFTA European Championships for Women and Juniors are organised in Vitoria by AVAFUT, dominated by the Czech Republic who won all three golds in the women’s category and two in juniors. Regarding our teams, it can be said that in their first international appearance they did very well, proving that hard work and great enthusiasm can bring good results in the future. The juniors won against Austria while the women were just a step away from the victory against Denmark. In the single, Mónica Moran defeated the Danish player. Short futnet initiation courses for coaches and referees were organised by EFTA Technical Committee during the championship.
The only blemish in the great year was not being able to take part in the Men’s European Championships , held on 7 and 8 October in Corte, Corsica. Although we had tried and been training for the event, in the end, not all the players were available and we had to withdraw our application from what would have been our international debut out of Spain in the top competition.
On 18 and 19 November the second “Introduction to Futnet” course (both theoretical and practical) this year was held with participants of both sexes and various ages.
A fruitful season of futnet awareness-raising in a society unfamiliar with this sport was successfully concluded with 2nd Christmas Tournament on 10 December with 8 teams (a year ago it was 4 teams). The doubles competition was held in the spirit of friendship and fair-play, with prizes for all participants and a dinner for players and referees, with the aim to part with the 2011 season and give thanks to all those that had worked with us in the development of our sport.
In 2012 our aim is to carry on in our humble work to spread and promote futnet, being aware that it will be a long-term objective and not easy to accomplish in a society monopolised by some centuries-old sports. Soon we will present the bases of 2nd edition of our league and will continue organising futnet initiation courses as well as courses for referees. Regarding our international presence, we would like to take part in all the categories at the next World Championships which will take place between November and December 2012 in the land of the forefathers of our sport, the Czech Republic.”