Los chicos del Villarreal B, tras un intenso entrenamiento en el que reinó el buen rollo, colgaron las botas, pasaron por la ducha y se subieron al autobús para visitar a unos amigos muy especiales. El Mini Submarino inició esta semana la aventura de Endavant Igualtat 2018-19, una experiencia que esta temporada van a compartir con el CEEM La Bartola, un centro de atención para personas con enfermedades mentales crónicas, discapacitados físicos y personas con daño cerebral sobrevenido, que está ubicado en Benicàssim.
The Villarreal B boys, after an intense training session, put away their boots, showered and got on the bus to visit some very special friends. The Mini Submarine kicked off the Endavant Igualtat initiative 2018/19 this week, an experience that this season they will share with CEEM La Bartola, a care centre for chronic mental illnesses, physical disabilities and people with unexpected brain damage, based in Benicàssim.
CEEM La Bartola co-ordinator, Juan Higueras, explained what the first meeting consisted of: "We planned the activities for this season. The main objective is for the players to know the reality and the day-to-day life of people here."
During the activity, Higueras explained to the Mini Submarine players how mental illness can come around: "Fundamentally, mental illness can be produced by an accumulation of factors. There is a genetic pre-disposition and then something that stresses us. Drug consumption, a breakdown in a relationship, loss of a job. A lot of things. A genetic factor that we don't control and something that stressed our brain can cause an illness to come on."
He also valued the Yellows Endavant Igualtat intiative, in which 11-a-side teams from the Yellows Academy have been taking part since the 2015/16 season. "The balance is really positive. What Villarreal put in as as much as we do in this project. It carries on growing, there's a lot of collaboration. It's a win-win relationship. For us, this contact helps us grow, it gives us great experiences and it helps the players to understand real problems that they probably aren't away of, and to gain values," he added.
Villarreal B striker Mario González, explained what he and his team-mates felt, after completing the trip: "Sharing time with them is very satisfying for us. They enjoy it a lot and we learn from what they tell us. For example, I had the chance to meet Daniel, who uses the centre, and told me about his life. Until recently, he led a normal life, but because of a problem from birth, he had a psychotic outburst, and had since had mental health problems."
What's more, the striker, like many of his other team-mates, had previously visited the centre: "I'd already been here. When I came in, I greeted the manager and asked him about friends we'd previously made. Some of them are here and we've been able to say hi face-to-face. Some now aren't here, and have been able to return to their previous lives after leaving the centre, that made me really happy, " he concluded.