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Dear candidates...what about sports?

The presidential candidates have forgotten about sports. Their proposals either include disquieting ambiguities or fail to mention the topic
Dear candidates...what about sports?
Mexico City
“Merits of the case” is an Opinion Sports Editorial by Gerardo Velázquez de León
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The presidential candidates in Mexico have forgotten about sports. Their proposals either include disquieting ambiguities or fail to mention the topic.

Each one of the campaign teams has appointed an expert to delve into sports issues, to lobby with federations, athletes, and leagues. Yet the most important thing we have to remember is that our country is first place in child obesity, and second in overall obesity, so physical activity is crucial.

José Antonio Meade states the obvious in his official website – the same stuff we've been hearing for decades. He talks about promoting sports and physical activity as a core aspect of children's education, with the support of the Government. Yet there is something troubling here: according to him, he will stimulate high-performance talent formation, for which he proposes programs to encourage exercising, multiply the private-public associations to develop sports infrastructure, and create the next generation of international and Olympic athletes.

The candidate of the coalition All for Mexico has forgotten the country already has the infrastructure to promote sports, that it's not the Government's job to make Olympic champions, and that the biggest problem is corruption in mid-management levels, white elephants in sports, and the forgotten and battered education system. Rulers believe calisthenics qualify as working out.


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Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in his Nation Project 2018 -2024, barely mentions sports. He claims there has to be a physical education culture linking nutrition, health to sports, and teamwork with social behaviors. Lovely speech, too bad it's empty. You find the first mention of sports until page 422, claiming there will be more solid games at schools, expert teachers, and even the national plan on the use of bicycles. It makes more sense than Meade's project but it's confusing, stating they will seek better results in the international scene through the program “Young People with a Future.”

The candidate of the coalition For Mexico to the Front, Ricardo Anaya, mentions nothing about sports on his website. The same goes for Margarita Zavala.

Sports is – perhaps – the least important of the issues on the national agenda but during the Peña Nieto administration, this area received a budget of MXN$ 21.9 billion that were of no use. We still fail in international competitions and there's still obesity.

In this revolution of ideas the candidates have, it's unbelievable that none considered the creation of a Ministry of Sports, an agency whose sole purpose can be found on its very name so sports can stop depending on the Ministry of Public Education – which has been the case for eons. Here, the candidates are still wet behind the ears. They don't care a whit about sports.


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