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  Sports Arenas

 

The practice of sport and physical exercise in Cuba has a high level of acceptance among the citizens. It is estimated that about 25% of the population practice sports in one way or another. This massive incorporation of people to the practice of sports requires an appropriate infrastructure, mainly at the basic level: in all sorts of schools, neighborhoods, and wherever there is a community willing to exercise and practice sports. It is not exaggerated to say that there are more than 2000 baseball fields scattered along the island, although there is at least one modern stadium in each province. Furthermore, for the occasion of the 14th Pan-American games Havana'91, the Cuban government had to build several modern facilities to comply with the quality requirements of such competition. Thus, the sport infrastructure, mainly in the capital, was significantly enhanced and improved. Several important facilities projected and build at the time, provide today's comfort to athletes, trainers, and the general public. The Pan-American Stadium, known as the colossus of the east, was conceived for the practice of track and field and soccer; the pool complex "Baraguá" hosted the swimming, water polo, diving, and synchronized swimming competitions; the court complex "19 de noviembre" was devoted to tennis; while the velodrome "Reinaldo Paseiro" housed the track competitions of cycling. All these facilities are located in eastern Havana. Other facilities were the polyvalent hall "Ramón Fonst", located across from the national coach station in Havana, and the "Kid Chocolate" hall, devoted to boxing matches mainly and located in Old Havana. In the neighborhood of Santiago de las Vegas, near the international airport of Havana, we find the Antonio Maceo stadium, a facility counting on a synthetic field for the practice of hockey, a discipline deeply rooted in that area. Those modern facilities complemented the existing ones like the Sport City Coliseum, located in the intersection of avenues Boyeros and Vía Blanca, and the Latin-American stadium, in the Cerro neighborhood. These sport facilities provide everyone who wishes to, absolutely for free, with the chance of practicing tens of sports. This is, in a few words, the main support of the Cuban success in this area. For this and other reasons, we believed in the words pronounced by President Fidel Castro: "Sport is a right of the people."


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