“It all started when a group of swimmers, teammates and friends who trained together on a daily basis decided to take charge of their own sports career,” the team told SwimSwam. “At the beginning it was just a dream, to be able to get together and train every day and to self-manage the club we always dreamed of.”
Little by little, this group of friends took the steps that brought them closer to making this a reality, signing a contract with their technical director, Polish Olympian Bart Kizierowski.
Kizierowski is a former technical director for the Spanish National and Olympic team both as coach and swimmer, partaking in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics. He will be supported by assistant coach Aquilino Pravia, who will also hold the secretary position and is one of the club team’s founders.
The Games’ postponement, the need for self-management of their careers and the advantages of undertaking a project for adults who share the desire and motivation to reach the top have been some of the factors that led to the team’s birth, they say.
“In order to forge a high-level team we at least 12 male and 12 female swimmers,” the team indicated. “This needs a solid economic base that covers the expenses carried by the team. In our club model, we would like to have sufficient means to fully enjoy the sport and gain experience competing or training overseas.”
This inaugural year they do not have enough funds to carry out this model, they said, but they look forward to having a women’s team and even age group swimmers in the future.
As club teams are in need of a board of directors to make decisions and be in charge of the club’s management, the new franchise has opted to use the team’s resources in order to improve their swimmers’ performance and, in order for this to be carried out, they decided to create such board of directors comprised by the athletes themselves and distribute the duties equally among themselves so that each contributes as much as possible. This structure mirrors that of the International Swimming League.
“Nationally, we have a lot of ambition, and of course, getting to win the Spanish Cup in the honors division would be our dream, but for now there is still a long way to go – this first year we will fight every meet and we will try to face the best teams in each relay,” they said.
In terms of the international scope, they are eyeing Mare Nostrum, Saint Dicier or Amsterdam and Luxembourg open meets.
When asked about the possibility of partaking in the ISL, the team indicated that it is the highest aspiration for any club team, although they did not discard striving for that in the near future.
“We would love to be able to be part of this and we will do everything possible to achieve it,” they said.
Spain is currently de-escalating from a confinement that lasted over two months and has left more than 27,000 dead. Such period of confinement has resulted in many companies facing deficit, part of the reason why team will not be able to add a women’s roster to their squad as of yet.
“Next season we will have sufficient resources to carry out the club’s basic functions,” the team hinted. “If the pandemic prevents us from training, we will have to find ways to improve our physical fitness with the resources we have.”
The group of swimmers is currently closing deals with sponsors. Additionally, they await meeting with the State of Madrid and the city council, which have been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While they are still working on bringing some swimmers onto the team, the current 13-strong roster consists of the following:
Oscar Pascual (Spanish senior national champion)
Beltran Rodriguez (Spanish senior national champion)
- Fran Arevalo (Spanish senior national champion and 5th place finish at the World Junior stage)
- Inigo Pravia (Spanish senior national champion)
- Alberto Garcia (2016 COMEN Cup gold medal)
- Javier Nicolas Matta (Spanish senior national medalist)
- Javier Romero (Spanish senior national champion and 6th place finish at the European Junior stage)
- Jose Luis Pulpillo (Spanish junior national champion and internationally ranked)
- Carlos Egido (junior national medalist)
- Diego Saez-Illobre (junior national medalist)
- Sergio Arroyo (junior national medalist)
- Domingo Togores (Spanish senior national medalist)
- Toni Mulet (national record holder and internationally ranked)
- Nacho Lopez (Spanish national champion and internationally ranked)
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¡Los Madrid Bears ya están aquí! 🐾🤘🏻 Queremos daros la bienvenida a todos a este nuevo proyecto que hemos iniciado: el Madrid Natación Club. Estamos muy ilusionados en esta nueva etapa, y esperamos que sea una aventura llena de logros, entusiasmo y motivación para todos. Para que nos conozcáis más a fondo, os dejamos en las historias destacadas el artículo publicado por Nataccion en el cual presentamos el proyecto. ¡Sentimiento de grupo, todos a una y palante! ⚔️🐻. #madridbears