Maria Jose Alcala is preparing to lead the Mexican Olympic Committee (COM) in the best way. He understands the difficulty and looks for areas of opportunity to get the best out of his position. However, there is an issue that needs to be corrected since the previous administration, which is the relationship between COM and Conade led by Ana Gabriela Guevara.
Marie José explains that both are professionals and seek the benefit of the athletes, Understands one of the most controversial measures in the Guevara administration: a reduction Scholarships.
How is your relationship with Anna Guevara?
The director and I searched for coincidences. And where we do not have coincidences, we will try to strengthen them and look for solutions. It’s clear to both of us that we want the athletes to be the beneficiaries. Nor should we appear or make it clear that we are friends, or that they see us together for a chance; I think we are mature, professional women who understand politics and are not afraid of what people tell us. We know what a relationship looks like, how to nurture it, and in the end, director Anna and I will look for coincidences, and strengths for the benefit of the athletes in Mexico.
In the end, the goal is for the athlete to reach the competitions in the best possible way…
This is the priority. The important thing for Kom is that the athletes who have and want to achieve their Olympic dream, we must give them all the tools to make it happen; We have to make cooperating entities with the government, because the general policy in sports affairs is to be carried out by the federal government, and we have to intertwine efforts to get them to do so, but we will always be ready for dialogue; We will always seek to work with the government of Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is our President and that is the way we have to see it..
Have you contacted the athletes to talk about scholarship reductions?
We have a respectful relationship with the athletes, we understand their discomfort, the difficulty they may go through, but the sport is also rule-based, Sport is clear about how scholarships are chosen, how they should be won, and how they are awarded. The Konadi, as a government, sets its own rules, and the kom, according to its Olympic charter, must be respected in this sense. I think the athletes will always make an effort, they will fight to find their places, they have to focus and prepare for this Olympic cycle, with a lot or a little (as they did), because also with the economic crisis we are experiencing in the world it is not easy. We must always have faith that we will make our dreams come true.
Is it necessary to increase the exploitation of the image in terms of marketing?
We have to see marketing, Olympic cycle resources, which It’s about 120 to 200 million pesos resources that we need for the entire delegation to complete the Pan American, Central American and Olympic Games.; It is also important to stop being a burden to the government. COM is a valuable and honorable brand, don’t be afraid, it’s on a global scale, the World Olympic Committees, and the citizens, should work on it, it doesn’t mean we’re at odds with Conade; It shouldn’t scare us.
Athletes sought to exploit their image for financial support…
The athlete, in terms of finances, is the most strengthening of the position; Athletes get scholarships from their athletic institutes, they have Conade scholarships, there are Olympic Solidarity scholarships, there are sponsors, but they were covered over 20 or 30 years ago, and things have changed. Sport is indeed a global issue that you understand through the many experiences that exist in the world, which must be modernized and we must not stand still. The Olympic tendency is changing, and it needs to be strengthened. As Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, said, We have to make their values reach society in general And not only athletes, but we also have to respect and promote the rights of athletes, and the more union, the stronger.
How is your relationship with the unions?
It’s an extraordinary relationship between me and the sports federations, we have an open relationship, we have a lot of trust. When they don’t like something and feel uncomfortable, they tell me, and I also tell them when I think they’re doing something wrong. It is not an easy relationship, because all sports are organizedToday, federal sport has very clear rules, Olympic sport has clear rules, we must have a relationship of respect and harmony with the federations for the qualifying systems, we want to make it known in time, because that will give them clarity not only to the athletes, but it will spare them the problems of federations and coms. It must be remembered that the highest authority in federal sports and technical affairs is the national sports federations. We can have a clear and transparent relationship that respects each other and also knows the role each one plays.
Are there many aspects of improvement in the associations?
Everyone points to the unions, judges them and criticizes them, but no one gives them the tools. We as the Olympic Committee have already fulfilled one of our obligations, which is to open an office for accounting, tax, and legal matters, in order for them to be professional as federations, but we also need them, together, to be able to make the programs; We cannot part or crush their rights, so we must have a constant dialogue.