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'Undersea Formentera' promises islanders savings on scuba diving

foto busseig 2018 1.jpg

The Formentera Council's acting chairperson, Susana Labrador, put her signature today on partnership agreements with two diving centres, Formentera Divers and Vellmari, concerning an initiative, “Descobreix la Formentera submarina“ ("Discover Formentera, under the sea"), to give island residents discounted tuition on diving courses. On hand at the signing ceremonies were the directors of the two diving schools and Formentera's sport secretary Jordi Vidal.

This year the Council will put up eight thousand euros, a thousand more than last year, to be split evenly between the two schools. The money will underwrite another year of discounts on diving lessons, between 40 and 60 per cent depending on whether the course is for first-time divers, beginners or experienced divers.

Descobreix la Formentera submarina“ is about encouraging islanders to dive recreationally, explained Labrador, who added that “scuba diving is a fantastic way to discover this undersea paradise that surrounds us“ and spoke about the importance of “getting people tuned in to the importance of protecting posidonia meadows and the fauna that they support“. Vidal, for his part, said the new Centre d'Esports Nàutics, or “Nautical Sport Centre“, “is part of an effort to promote scuba diving even after the summer season, a time when the island's seasonal workers can take advantage of savings on instruction“.

In more than a decade since “Descobreix la Formentera submarina“ has been in place, more than eight hundred islanders have taken up scuba diving. Last year's course catalogue included 37 courses for first-timers, roughly 15 for beginners and another 25 for returning divers.

Fourth year of Formentera's sports photo contest arrives with brand-new feature—selfies

foto 1The Formentera Council's department of fitness is hosting the fourth Concurs de Fotografia Esportiva—a photo contest which, in showing sport from rarely seen angles, uses photography as a lever to promote fitness. Photos must in some way be related to sport, though the focus can be on any element therein. This year's competition includes four awards; the first prize is €300, the second is €200, the third is €100 and—new this year—a special, €150 prize for the best selfie.

Terms of participation
Each contender can submit no more than three photos. Photos already submitted to other competitions will not be accepted. Images may be in colour or black and white. Physical submissions must be unframed paper prints, with minimum 20cm width and maximum 40cm height. Accepted formats are square, digital, classic and panoramic.

Digital submissions must be in .jpg format and no more than 8Mb. Modifications must not exceed changes to tone, saturation, light, contrast, levels and curves.

Physical submissions, accepted at the Citizen's Information Office (OAC) until November 25, should include a blank envelope containing the photographer's full name, address, e-mail and contact telephone number.

Prints can also be submitted via certified post to Consell Insular de Formentera, plaça de la Constitució, 1, 07860 Sant Francesc Xavier, Formentera. Submissions via certified post must include an envelop with the contestant's information as well as the certified envelop, and both should include a pseudonym for identification purposes.

Digital submissions should be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the following information: Contestant's full name, e-mail address, contact telephone number and town of residence. Each photo must carry a title and indication of where and when it was taken.

A panel of eminent figures from the world of the visual arts will be responsible for selecting the winning photos. Winners will be announced in early December and winning photos will be displayed in Antoni Blanc fitness centre.

In bid to stamp out cystic fibrosis, islanders start paddling

volta-a-formentera-nedant-cont1From Friday June 29 to Sunday July 1 and with backing from the Formentera Council, the island will host its nineteenth Swim Round Formentera to End Cystic Fibrosis. Over the years the event has become a something of a local fixture, stirring swimmers, experts and amateurs to come together to support sufferers of the illness.

The “Volta a Formentera nedant contra la Fibrosis Quística”—or simply “la Volta”—is a non-competitive event aimed at not only pushing cystic fibrosis and symptoms of the disease into the public consciousness, but also raising money for related outreach. The fact that swimming and physiotherapy help many children improve respiratory capacity was among the factors pushing Fundación Respiralia and the Balearic Islands Cystic Fibrosis Association to develop the initiative.

Organisers say they expect 240 participants and roughly fifty volunteers from around the world. Over three days, they will circumnavigate the island, covering some 30 kilometres in distinct legs of 1.8 to 3.6K long. When one leg is completed, swimmers will be picked up by a boat, briefly resting as they are shuttled to the next starting point, with as many stages as sea conditions, water currents and jellyfish allow.

“La Volta” is a chance to build community, a three-day affair during which participants unite in the struggle to end cystic fibrosis.

Formentera unlocks €80k for sports clubs

Foto nens escola de vela 2017The sports department of the Formentera Council has announced they have begun accepting applications for grant money as part of Esports 2018, a programme to fund local clubs and associations geared towards sport.

The idea is to help associations develop and carry out seasonal activities (assistance with sign-ups and membership documentation, trainer costs, equipment, etc.) and help ensure their success by proposing mediation and consulting on subjects like business administration and facilities management.

Esports 2018 is a €80,000 programme funded by the Council. This year marks the second the administration issues the call for applications earlier than in years past in an effort to guarantee advance payouts—an anticipated 50% of the total—can be sent before the start of the 2018/2019 season.

The deadline is July 12 and applications must be submitted to the Citizen's Information Office (OAC). More information, plus application forms, can be found at the Formentera Council website and at www.esportesmes.org.

For more information visit http://bit.ly/2K2IWbE / http://bit.ly/2HZu0pM

Return of the 'Marnaton'

Foto marnatonFormentera's offices of sport and tourism have lent their support to Copa Marnaton, an open-water swimming fixture that returns to the island this season. Five years after it took over the island in October 2013, the Marnaton (a merger of the English “marathon” and the Catalan and Castilian words for "swimming" and "sea") will see participants compete locally in two different categories.

Raid Formentera
When the three-part event takes place Wednesday to Saturday (May 26), it will see contenders going solo or joining teams as they cover distances between 6.5 and 17 kilometres. Teams, for their part, will face a combination of swimming and kayak paddling.

Given the choice of challenges will be based on weather conditions, athletes won't know which circuits have been selected for competition until briefing day. The feature shared by the various options on the table is immense natural beauty and, in some cases, extreme difficulty. Participants must be prepared for a trial which extends over a distance of 17 kilometres.

Difficulty depends on the particular modality chosen by a contender at registration. If efforts are split evenly between partners on a team, each will swim and row equal parts. Swimmers opting to face the challenge solo must be prepared to take on the entire length of it, with a kayak trailing behind, too. A total of ten solo swimmers and twenty pairs are expected to take the challenge.

Next in the queue, and dovetailing with the final day of competition in the Raid, is the second Marnaton Formentera. The Marnaton is composed of two circuits, one four and another eleven kilometres in length, which see athletes departing from the western shore of Illetes beach and returning from the east.

Setting out at 10.00am, participants in the 4k circuit will go as far as es Pas before heading back towards Illetes. The first contenders in the 11k challenge will begin at 9.20am (departures will take place place every ten minutes for 30 minutes thereafter) and circumscribe s'Espalmador island before making their way to the finish line. Roughly three hundred swimmers are expected to compete.

Formentera's spring of sport
Raid Formentera and the Marnaton are just two entries on a brimming sports calendar (the Ophiusa regatta, Far a Far footrace and Mitja Marató are others) that is aimed at showcasing Formentera as a low-season destination for travellers and fitness fans as well as promoting active lifestyles among islanders.

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