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The unvoiced voice of sports activities journalism | sports activities

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When Sara Estévez Urquijo (Bilbao, 96 years outdated) began working at Radio Juventud in 1952, sports activities journalism was a person’s factor. In the newsrooms of newspapers and radio stations there have been few ladies, and the Sports sections solely had signatures and male voices. Until that yr, when Radio Juventud de Bilbao started to broadcast, somebody requested if there was anybody among the many station’s editors who preferred soccer. Sara raised her hand. He went to San Mamés each Sunday to see Athletic. They awarded him the job. She had simply change into the primary sports activities journalist in Spain, though nobody knew, till a few years later, that the one who directed that profitable program known as Stádium, and which was hiding underneath the pseudonym of Marathon, was a girl.

His world was Bilbao, the place he was born. He didn’t full greater research as a result of the Civil War prevented him from profiting from the scholarship he had obtained to review on the faculties of Viuda de Epalza. Fifteen days after it was awarded, the competition started. “I learned everything on the street. I am a child of the war and of the post-war period ”, she says now. As a toddler, she attended the faculties on Calle Cortes, in instances of the Republic. His sister, a trainer, had taught him to learn and write at dwelling. I used to be glad. “Although they would not let us go down to the street because the tram could run you over,” he remembers.

Portrait of Sara Estévez, in the newsroom of Radio Juventud, in Bilbao, and her press card from RTVE.  On the right, the journalist delivers an award at Radio Youth Sports Night.
Portrait of Sara Estévez, within the newsroom of Radio Juventud, in Bilbao, and her press card from RTVE. On the proper, the journalist delivers an award at Radio Youth Sports Night.

When Franco entered Bilbao, along with having to participate in a gymnastic exhibition in San Mamés in honor of the dictator, the primary time he stepped on that garden, in school they had been despatched to close by homes the place prostitution was practiced to ask for cash to purchase crucifixes. As a young person, Sara studied shorthand, typing and accounting and went to work on the Unquinesa chemical firm, in Lamiako, very near the primary Athletic soccer area. With the primary additional pay, known as then July 18, the Bilbao membership was paid, which nonetheless didn’t enable entry for members. That was one other story: the subscribers may watch video games, however, not like the members, that they had no voice or vote within the membership’s choices.

In 1972, when Sara Estévez’s program was at its highest, one other pioneer appeared, Miren Edurne Salsamendi, who prompted an enormous stir after publishing a letter within the press by which she demanded that ladies have the identical rights as males within the membership. According to the statutes, they didn’t have the choice of being members, solely paid members, and so they additionally paid the next price. Not solely that: Salsamendi requested for sufficient illustration on the board of administrators. The declare introduced a tail. Even the Francoist mayor of Bilbao, Pilar Careaga, joined, however solely in April 1979 did the meeting of members, chaired by Beti Duñabeitia, authorized the equality of the sexes. Currently, there are 7,000 ladies amongst Athletic’s 44,000 members.

Lucía Martínez Odriozola, former president of the Basque Association of Journalists, evokes the determine of Sara Estévez on video.

Sara Estévez began with the radio in 1952. “An advertisement came out from the Radio Art Academy of the Youth Front, calling for a course. I went to accompany a girl on my ladder who had the faculties to interpret. I had a knack for writing, and I kept writing. When Radio Juventud was inaugurated, on Calle Irala 7, I joined the staff, ”Sara explains immediately. With a meager wage, which compelled her to proceed working at Unquinesa, she started as an editor; it was not till 20 years later that he bought in entrance of a microphone.

“I entered Sports by chance and from day one. Everyone in the academy had a fondness for the theater. The comedian Simón Cabido was there, for example. They earned one peseta a minute. One day they asked: ‘Who’s going to football from here?’ And only me, who was an Athletic subscriber ”. While on the academy, he wrote dozens of chronicles that had been by no means broadcast. With the printed on Radio Juventud, she turned director of sports activities applications.

Marathon, Sarita Estévez, was the unvoiced voice of Radio Juventud for years. “Paco Blanco read my chronicles and neither the players nor the managers knew that I wrote them in my town in the field, on the corner of Capuchinos, almost secretly, with the notebook on my knees, out of shame because people could think that I was crazy, and also very few women went to football, “explains Sara. They were very different times, even for radio journalists: “Then the radio was banned by the written press. ‘What are the radio guys doing here?’ “This is a press conference,” they argued. “

The program Stadium it became the most listened to on sports radio in Bizkaia. He spoke of Athletic, but also of other sports. And there were spaces, such as rural sports, which were done in Basque. Yes, Sarita put Basque into a program on the Movement network, which ended its broadcasts with the Face to sun. And he also invented radio talk shows. “The program overwhelmed us, I did not have time to write the chronicles, so we began to do it as a gathering plan,” he revives. They spoke about Athletic, in the voices of herself, Francisco Blanco, Jesús Morales and Julio Garro. And they argued in times of unique thought. “Athletic vetoed us for a year and a half from entering San Mamés, Radio Juventud and the entire network. The company defended us until the end because the club asked for Paco Blanco’s head and mine, ”says Sara. Those had been the instances of English Ronnie Allen as coach. They learn the letters of the listeners, and one ended: “Here, as always, the Neguri oligarchy prevails.” Things bought to the intense that Athletic denied them any entry to data: “To get the news on the national network, we had to listen to SER and repeat what they were saying.”

She wrote the chronicles virtually secretly, with the pocket book on her knees, out of disgrace as a result of individuals may assume she was loopy

Sara Estévez in a file picture supplied by El Correo

The most critical battle was with the mayor of Bilbao, Javier de Ibarra. At the elite Neguri golf course in La Galea, they refused to surrender their land for a preferred race. Marathon wrote a remark: “But Paco Blanco got very hot reading it. I said something about the grass and he lengthened the end: ‘Let the grass take advantage of you!’ Ibarra, who belonged to the Neguri golf club, said they had been called donkeys and protested to the Civil Governor, Genaro Riestra, one of the most feared men in Bizkaia for his relentless repressive work. “But in the end nothing happened, thank goodness,” says the pioneer.

The program directed by Sara Estévez was also the first to do telephone interviews with the protagonists of the sport: “Thanks to a very handy technician, who managed to do impossible things that in theory could not be done,” explains Sara. In 1983 his program disappeared after a restructuring of Radio Juventud, which was built-in into Radio Nacional, and the marimorena was armed. “Jordi García Candau, who was the general manager of the chain, had to come to Bilbao to calm things down,” he says. The Basque newspapers wrote editorials, the opposite stations expressed solidarity. Sara Estévez continued to belong to the station’s employees, nevertheless it was not the identical. “When I went to Radio Nacional they killed my soul after 28 years. Each piece of reports that I wrote was price a capital. I did two texts a day after years of not even stopping to eat, “he laments now.

Sara Estévez, with the Athletic shirt.  / DAILY AS
Sara Estévez, with the Athletic shirt. / DAILY AS

Sara retired at the age of 65, but she remained active, closely following the Athletic news. Until he was 94 he regularly wrote an opinion column in The mail. He no longer went to San Mamés, but he did not miss a game on television. His comment appeared alongside the one dictated by one of the players who were his weakness since youth, Txetxu Rojo, and he has always been a reliable source to rely on, to ask for advice.

She says that she now lives quietly, waiting for the pandemic to pass. Only Athletic is concerned: “I’m very excited in regards to the two Cup finals,” he says goodbye.

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