FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA: Ciudad Deportiva de Hatillo, Costa Rica, will host the XXXI IRF Junior World Junior Championships, 9 to 16 November 2019.
Hatillo has seen significant growth in racquetball participation over the past few years which has led the Municipality of San José, in conjunction with the San José Sports and Recreation Cantonal Committee (CCDR SJ), to present a proposal to the International Racquetball Federation to host the event next year. The idea was enthusiastically supported by the Federación Costarricense de Racquetball (FECORA), its president, Marcelo Gomez, and president of the CCDR San José, Heiner Ugalde.
"We had an opportunity to meet with representatives of the International Racquetball Federation during the IRF World Junior Championships last week in San Luis Potosí, Mexico,” said Ugalde. “They gave us the opportunity to host the tournament next year, which makes us happy and motivated. We know that it will have a positive impact on our Hatillo athletes, the National Team, and the sport in general. Today, we are breaking the paradigm that Racquetball is not for one group but for everyone."
Ciudad Deportiva de Hatillo currently has four courts, but four more will be built to comply with the requirements of the International Racquetball Federation. Two will become show courts, and a dressing room area will also be constructed. The works department of the CCDR SJ is already beginning on the project, and it is expected to be completed by July 2019.
The Mayor of the Municipality of San José, Eng. Johnny Araya, also expressed his support. "For the Municipality of San José, it is truly an honor that our Capital will once again host a sporting event of international importance, such as the XXXI IRF World Junior Racquetball Championships. This helps to solidify that, in addition to the 2013 Central American Games, the city is recognized as a host for elite sports.”
FECORA also celebrated that Hatillo will host the World Championship event because in recent years it has seen great growth of its racquetball school and will benefit from the addition of more courts.
"Nobody used to know about Racquetball in Hatillo,” said FECORA President Marcelo Gomez. “But today the reality is different thanks to the work they have done there. Having more courts is not a whim; it is a necessity due to the number of players who wish to learn and then compete in the sport. Thanks to the Hatillo players' participation, our junior team has grown. For example, four years ago Hatillo contributed only two players to the team, but this year there were 17."
The World Junior Championships include age categories from 10 to 18. Age categories 14, 16, and 18 compete for the overall World Cup title, and the 10 and 12 categories compete for the Esprit Cup title. A Challenger Cup is open to participants in all age divisions who did not qualify for their countries in other categories.
Click here for an interview with Marcelo Gomez.
Photo Credit: Marcelo Gomez
About the IRF
The International Racquetball Federation is the international governing body of the sport of racquetball under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee. Founded in 1979, the IRF provides governance, rules, and leadership to its 83 national federation members. A member of GAISF beginning in 1980 and recognized by the IOC in 1985, the IRF offers three events annually and one, the IRF World Championships, biennially. It is the international umbrella organization for racquetball over the Olympic Chain of events such as the Pan American Games, World Games, Central American Games, Central American and Caribbean Games, and IRF Regional competitions.
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