The renewal of the sponsorship between Vall Banc and the Andorran Ski Federation (FAE) was presented today at the Andorran bank’s head offices, thus enabling it to once again lend its support to the snowboard and freestyle sections, which will perform intensive grassroots work this season in order to return to the elite in the future.
The event was held at Vall Banc's head offices and was attended by rider Maeva Estevez, freestyle technicians Josep Gil and Quim Jordan, the young freestyle snowboard talents Èlia Pasquet, Nerea Fernández, Limay Tagliaferro and Nahuel Tagliaferro, Sergi Martín, the Business Director at Vall Banc and Carles Visa, the Manager of the FAE.
Martín explained that Vall Banc aims to go on giving its support to the skiers of the FAE “because they’re continuing to grow and improve in their categories, carrying the name of Andorra high in international competitions”. This continuity of the sponsorship forms part, he said, “of our social responsibility, which, among other things, seeks to support the country’s social, educational and training and, in this case, sporting institutions”. “Vall Banc is proud to continue promoting Andorran sport as a way of fostering positive values such as effort, the will to succeed and discipline. Values that we’ve seen in great athletes like Maeva Estevez. We therefore support the young talents in the country, as well as sporting organisations engaged in training, such as the Andorran rugby school. And the FAE is ideally suited to this context”.
Similarly, Carles Visa, the Manager of the FAE, expressed his gratitude for the “renewal of this sponsorship” and stressed that Vall Banc “has become the FAE’s chief sponsor of snowboarding and freestyle”. According to Visa, Maeva Estevez will continue with the work she’s begun and the monitoring groups are also included, with Mario Da Cruz and Xavi Matas (the latter still recovering from injury) in snowboarding and Èlia Pasquet, Nerea Fernández, Limay Tagliaferro and Nahuel Tagliaferro in freestyle.
Visa explained that Maeva Estevez will remain in France’s European Cup team with the aim of qualifying for the World Cup. The physical preparation will take place in Andorra with Damià Costa at the helm, while Mario Da Cruz will form part of the “RFEDI team, with a pre-season programme and races”.
As for freestyle, Visa highlighted the work of the Andorra Freestyle Club, created last year, which is doing “really good work”. “The aim of the monitoring clubs is to enhance the grassroots work with the youngsters and for this to bear fruit in the national teams”.
For her part, Maeva Estevez provided details of her pre-season: “This summer we did a major training session in the snow, in Les 2 Alpes, to try out equipment, and the basic work, which went really well. We’ll now have a large physical training series of sessions until September, and from then onwards spend lmany days on the snow until the races in November. The feeling is really positive this summer and I’m noticing the progression compared to other years. I’ve noticed a big change with Damià and it’s going really well”.
“The fact that Lluis (Marín) is no longer around has changed things a bit, it’s sad, but my structure hasn’t changed because we’ve never trained together”, she explained at the presentation of a season without the Andorran number one. “Despite training for the European Cup, the goal remains the World Cup, and we’re working on achieving it as soon as possible”. With regard to the Olympic Games, Estevez declared that they’re “the dream of any athlete”, but that the goal is to be and remain in the World Cup: “Once I’m a regular competitor in the World Cup, with the necessary results, I’ll be able to think of going further. Right now, the Games aren’t the direct goal”.
As for the freestyle section, Josep Gil, the coach, said: “The creation of the Andorra Freestyle Club is geared towards the sport of freestyle so as to get into the national teams again and ensure the country is represented in international competitions”. All its members are snowboarding at the moment, but “the idea is to focus on freeskiing in the future”. “This is the first time we have had a snowboarding structure” he stated. The current situation, with snowboarders, offers excellent prospects for the future: “Now the structure is made up of young talents who can have a future, and we must fight to achieve it and ensure representation in international competitions. The main goal is to compete in the FIS and make the leap from the European Cup to the World Cup. They’re young talents. The AFC is designed to do more professional grassroots work”.