In line with national policy intended to guarantee meeting the Cuban sports movement’s projections - especially in the Olympic cycle - and positioning our athletes in top-level competitions, the contracting of Cuban in professional leagues abroad remains a priority, but the performance achieved by our athletes has yet to be concretely expressed in Cuba's international results.
Ariel Saínz, vice-president of Cuba’s Institute for Sports, Physical Education and recreation (Inder), announced in a recent press conference that 59 contracts have been signed during the 2020-2021 season, "which represents 39.3 % of what was planned, so we must make an effort in the rest of the campaign to meet our goal". He added that work is underway to process contracts of six more athletes, among them baseball players Lázaro Blanco, Erisbel Arruebarruena and Yoanni Yera.
To date there are nine sports involved in international contracting: baseball (with 18 players signed abroad), handball and volleyball (23), basketball (10), soccer (6), wrestling (7), cycling, water polo and softball (four each). Boxing should soon be added to this list.
"We have basketball players in the Spanish league, and the Romanian; 13 volleyball players in the principal European events; Arlenis Sierra, in the Astaná Club, in Kazakhstan, where she is considered the best non-European cyclist competing in the world circuit," explained Saínz.
In the midst of this work we must note the limitations that have prevailed at this stage, with the cancellation of some international tournaments such as the German Bundesliga and the Can-Am, Pacific, and Italian baseball leagues, he stated.
As explained on previous occasions, one of the principles guiding the contracting policy is to contribute to improving our athlete’s performance and to see this improvement expressed in the country's results in worldwide competition, regardless of the fact that this practice contributes to the personal satisfaction of athletes. Likewise, the sports movement obtains a source of income from the training rights of athletes selected for professional contracting abroad in a variety of disciplines.
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