With two linking sports centres, one in San Cugat and another in Vigo, and several inclusive sports events that take place throughout the year, the Isidre Esteve Foundation emerged as a way to underpin the driver's projects. The first seed was planted with the smart cushion: one of the key aspects that has allowed Isidre to return to Dakar at his best. Other ideas that helped to start this foundation were the linking sports centres themselves, which were seen as necessary for the normalisation of inclusive sport.
Although the ideas were good and attracted the interest of volunteers who wanted to collaborate, they did not know how since there was no entity to turn to, and in order to facilitate contributions and help, the foundation came about.
The linking sports centres are the heart of the activity, places where people with physical disability, degenerative diseases, and reduced mobility are taught training routines. Those who manage to master these exercises by themselves are then referred to a conventional gym where they can continue training on their own in a normal way, while, for those who still need help, the doors of the centre are always open.
The organization's two main events are related to the linking sports centres themselves, with one in Vigo attended by almost 1000 people, and another in Barcelona at the Montmeló circuit. The aim of these events is to bring people with and without disabilities together to play sports, competing as a way to demonstrate that having a disability is not a barrier and should not be used as a pretext to exclude certain people from sport.
The sports that are promoted by the foundation are necessarily inclusive, although support is also offered for disciplines aimed at people with disabilities, such as the physical training of several wheelchair basketball teams. Despite this, the objective is to make sport a place of union, so that a person with a disability can play tennis or table tennis with their family, or go skiing or canoeing with friends.
The idea that disability is a barrier is one of the main challenges of the foundation, which sees how people resist changing their habits. In the words of Lidia Guerrero, Isidre Esteve's personal trainer, ignorance and a lack of motivation can be your worst enemy: "Despite the beautiful and useful nature of the work that we do, we don't have a waiting list. There are many people who find it difficult to take the first step”.
In these circumstances, social networks are key to making contact with people that, unfortunately, have a sedentary lifestyle due to their condition. Social networks offer a window to the world, where interest in activities and future projects is expressed through comments and messages. "We are working on opening a linking sports centre in Madrid, and we have had many requests to sign up for this centre through social networks", Lidia tells us.
For those who want to help the foundation, the best way is to talk about it, either through social networks or by word of mouth, to give maximum exposure to the activities they organize. The doors of the linking sports centres are always open to those who want to visit. "We invite you to come and see how we work, to come to events, to get to know us and then tell others about it, because once you've experienced it in person, you see it in a different light than if you watched a video or somebody told you about it”.