Athletic Club Signs Collaboration Agreement With Eibar In Support Of The Basque Team Foundation

Aitor Elizegi Basque Team

Athletic President Aitor Elizegi and Eibar President Amaia Gorostiza (AC)

The Basque Team Foundation, created in 2007 by the Basque Government and Euskal Telebista, exists to promote a high level of sports in the Basque Country. By providing scholarships for top Basque athletes who are not funded or not yet professionals, the Foundation has played a major role in the growth and support of sports in the region.

On Wednesday it was officially announced that Athletic Club and Eibar have signed a collaboration agreement with the Basque Team Foundation. Having already worked with the Foundation on a social level, the two clubs will now partner with Basque Team financially.

The agreement will run for 2 years, through 31 December of 2020, and contains options to be extended on a biannual basis. Athletic will contribute an annual total of €179,000 and Eibar will contribute €70,000. These donations are based on the estimated budgets for both clubs and will not increase during the two year collaboration. The Foundation functions on an annual budget of €1,3000,000.

Athletic President Aitor Elizegi attended the presentation on Wednesday along with Bingen Zupiria, the Minister Of Culture and Language for the Basque Government, Olatz Legarza, Basque Team Coordinator, and Eibar President Amaia Gorostiza. It was a time of celebration on the eve of Saturday’s Basque Derby that will see Athletic host Eibar at the San Mamés.

“From the Basque Government and Basque Team, we want to show our gratitude to Athletic Club and Sociedad Deportiva Eibar for their willingness to sign this agreement,” said Zupiria. “The Basque Team Foundation has more than fifty scholars and scholarships with athletes who are among the best in the world in their disciplines. However, these disciplines are not considered professional, so many times the resources for these athletes to compete with solvency in international competitions are not enough. This agreement will allow for more resources to promote elite Basque sport. This is very relevant because there are very important needs that have to be covered. We have a small frustration with Real Sociedad and Alavés because we don’t understand how we have not been able to convince them to partner with Basque Team.”

Aitor Elizegi Basque Team

Athletic will contribute €179,000 annually to support the Basque Team Foundation (AC)

Elizegi then shared his thoughts on the foundation. “The Basque Team accompanies the club, scholarships, Euskal Herreria, Paralympics, Women, equality, diversity, and values”, he began. “The club is trying to explore this path for many years. We are thankful and proud of this partnership. There are other athletes who don’t have that day to day help, that comfort, and there are more people than just those at Lezama. There is real sport and real athletes that have to rely on the public. This is about truth, justice, effort, sacrifice, and equality.”

Eibar President Gorostiza then had her chance to reflect on the collaboration. “As a club we have to thank the Basque Government for giving us this opportunity to participate in something so important, such as the development of minority sports in the Basque Country”, said Gorostiza. “We have a philosophy of trying to give back to society what has been given to us. We share the philosophy of the Basque Team and we are happy to partner and collaborate as long as we can. It will be a pleasure to help the development.”

The Basque Team Foundation has already served many athletes who otherwise would not have had the support to achieve their goals and dreams. Supported athletes have participated in the World Championships, Olympic Games, Paralympics and are not only given financial help, but also communication and image coaching, as well as medical aid.  During the presentation a video was shared in which Olympic athletes Maialen Chorraut and Ander Elosegi, both of whom have been assisted by Basque Team, thanked the foundation, Athletic Club, and Eibar for their efforts and support.

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