There will always be faces visible when it comes to acknowledging great merit and effort, or when it comes to having to accept criticism, but those who are able to look a little further ahead will always know that for that a large group works, there must be good teamwork behind it.
Kutxabank Araski is a clear example of how a project can grow by leaps and bounds if you put some work into it. In this sense, the expression “quantity is not as important as quality” could well apply. This is what has been experienced in this club since its birth. A group of people decided to build this great project. Along the way, they got on and off the train, but “the usual ones” continue to work piecework to keep growing.
The Araski has visible heads, which are the ones that usually appear in the media. However, there is also a group that is not in the limelight and whose work does not attract attention, but without it a well-tuned orchestra could not function.
Some of them stayed there all their lives, like José Molinuevo, Raquel Pérez or Ioseba Redondo. The team’s assistant coach jokingly admits that it’s hard to follow because, he says, “it’s been 12 to 13 years already and it’s something precious that we created and I won’t forget never the day it started.” Of course, he clarifies that no matter how much time passes, “this created sense of belonging will never be lost because, in the end, it is something that you have seen from the beginning; This is why we are still with the same desire as on the first day to continue building something beautiful”.
“The human group that runs the club is close and that brings motivation on its own”
The sentiment conveyed by Ioseba in his statements coincides with that of physiotherapist Raquel Pérez, who has also been with the club practically from the start. “At first I was a player, then I led the team through the Akari physiotherapy center. Besides, I still remember when I was a player and I was already a physiotherapist, ”says -she.
The delegate Julen Vázquez and the physical trainer Victor Ciavattini and the physiotherapist Carlos Ariño Ciria have adapted perfectly to this family. The first has been going on for 5 years now, which “I appreciate positively, because we have created a family bond where we learn and have fun while working”. Julen remembers joining the club, a day he will never forget. “It was when I was training in the Basque League and Made came to see me to ask me if I wanted to be part of his family.”
Regarding the most rookie of the team, Carlos Ariño, only a year ago. Although he is not from Vitoria, he admits that “it is a great challenge to be at the Araski and there is also a great atmosphere”. Ciavattini, entering his second year at Araski, coincided with Madelén Urieta in Spain’s squad at the U-17 World Cup. “There, he suggested that I come to Vitoria,” says the Argentinian, who did not hesitate to land in the Basque capital since “the Araski project has always fascinated me a lot by the values it conveys; working here is comfortable thanks to the help there is. I was able to be in several clubs and in none I found the ease that exists here. At Araski, everyone makes sure everything goes well and it’s very family-friendly”.
“Although it takes little time, I have already realized that it is very easy to work here”
day by day
Regarding the daily routine, Ioseba Redondo clarifies that “the first team is the tip of the iceberg, but below there is a lot of work with the almost 300 girls we have and that leads us to spend 24 hours thinking about Araski , but that’s what we like, so we can’t complain.” And it is that although the Araski involves investing many hours, the protagonists do it with a smile. And that in many cases they have to combine them with their respective jobs, as is the example of Julen. Julen simultaneously delegates his position with others as “manager in Llodio and I also have another family business and it’s driving me a bit crazy; My day-to-day consists of being aware of mobile all the time. For example, I am attentive to the medical appointments of the players ”.
“For us, all the girls are very important on a daily basis, that is to say our youth academy”
Physios also admit that it involves effort. “We combine our schedule at the center with a few extra matches, they come to the Akari center for treatment and before the matches we accompany them to Mendizorroza,” Carlos explains. The physical trainer devotes all his time to the club. “Not only the first team brings happiness, but the youth academy and everyone else helps to make my job more comfortable.”
“I have been to several clubs and in none I have found the ease that exists here”
Despite the passing of the years, one of the most beautiful things that the Araski retains is this feeling of familiarity and closeness, which is not easy to maintain, as there are many changes season after season. Ioseba makes it clear that “it is something that is underlined. That is, we try to teach new people what the club is, that we are a family and that all the girls are very important to us, that is, our academy of youth “. Regarding this course, the second coach believes that “the message has penetrated deeply into the workforce, they are all very identified with the philosophy of the club”. A message that former captain Laura Pardo is helping to spread, who “does an incredible job with us, because she continues to help us in training and explains well what Araski means”.
For her part, Raquel defines Araski “as a passion”. “The board is like a family and although we are professionals, the human team that runs the club is close, and that makes everything easier and brings motivation on its own.” Something confirmed by his colleague. “Although it’s been a short time, I’ve realized that it’s very easy to work here, everyone works together regardless of their position and it makes anyone who comes in feel like one of the others.”
In the perspective of this course, Redondo takes the opportunity to admit that “in recent seasons things have not gone as we wanted, perhaps because we have not found the key for the team to have this claw that identifies us. Of course we believe this year the team will make it and we will fight the games till the end with these warriors. In short, we will rediscover this Araski DNA that characterizes us”. An atmosphere confirmed by Julen, for whom “being with Ioseba and Made is like a daily clinic, it’s like learning all the time”.
“In addition to working, we create a bond where we learn and have fun”
Logically, when a club lives for so many years, a multitude of experiences are stored. The protagonists agree that the ascent of Cáceres is one of the best memories. “It’s something that surprised us all a bit because we didn’t expect it and that wasn’t the goal,” Ioseba said. For his part, the delegate retains the Cup of the Queen of Salamanca. “That moment of Laura Pardo hitting the triple to win the match will be etched in my retina for the rest of my life.” Raquel agrees with some of her teammates that ‘the rise to Liga 1 was a very special moment for everyone’. Carlos, although it hasn’t been long, says that “I have already experienced very beautiful and intense moments and I want to thank Raquel for the opportunity that the whole Araski human group has given me”. As for Victor, he remembers with passion “the match against Ferrol, where we came back with a spectacular atmosphere and an incredible Mendizorroza”.
There were also more difficult moments for the protagonists. In the case of Julen, his worst experience is at the same time his best memory, that is to say in Salamanca, since “when we came back from the Copa de la Reina we were confined by the pandemic and the team was in an incredible dynamic”. and it was painful”. For physios, the worst moments are “when you have to wait for recovery times and an important part gets injured”.
You never know what the future holds, but the Araski has its back covered with this task force. They all look to tomorrow with the hope of continuing to grow. Julen hopes that “the five years that I have been here will be multiplied by many others; Being a small club we are always working, if I need something I know my teammates are there and if it’s the other way around the same thing happens. We all support each other and that makes me want to stay here for many more years.” Víctor also wants “to be able to continue to grow with the club and help them from my pitch. It’s the best thing that can happen to me.” In the end, as Ioseba admits, they don’t want the glory or appear in the foreground. “I’m comfortable in the background helping Made where I can.” With people like that, the Araski will go to the end of the world.