Estefanía Nieto Trinidad, second DAN black belt, technical director of sports schools (TD1 and TD2) in judo and self-defense, sports instructor, as well as an entrepreneur in La Zarza. His beginnings in the world of judo were at the age of 7 precisely in this town where he resides, at the NOYBE Gym, until he was 16, with the help of Domingo Ceborro and he continued at the Stabia Judo Club in Mérida, with Miguel Martinez. She currently competes in the national club league, with the Club Stabia judo team, and teaches classes in La Zarza in her new Judo Club, called TANDOKU.
Have you always known that your sport was judo or have you practiced others?
I started doing other sports such as rhythmic gymnastics, athletics, volleyball and extracurricular activities, because I have always really liked sports and staying active. I started judo when I was 7 years old. My cousins taught judo with the man who was, and still is, my sensei.
I came to a class by chance and it caught my attention, but at that time my parents did not agree with me practicing this sport, although later I decided it ended up being another of the many activities I practiced after leaving school. As I grew older and my studies became more demanding, I had to choose how I spent my time, since it was scarcer. I had to discard some of the sports I practiced and little by little I was left with only judo, it was the one that attracted me the most.
How has your career been in the world of sports? Has it always been part of your life?
As I mentioned, I practiced several sports, until I decided on judo. When I had been practicing judo for a long time and was in the best years of competition, another martial art began to become fashionable, ju-jisut. My sensei decided to take advantage of the good physical shape he had to be able to enter competitions and win a medal at the national level.
It has always been present in my daily life since I was very little, I have always been very restless in that aspect, I was not a girl who liked to spend time doing nothing. But when I grew up the responsibilities also grew, the family business required my help, therefore I had to distance myself a little from the world of sports, I couldn’t dedicate as much time to it as I would have liked. But I have never stopped practicing it. Apart from my judo classes, I was also always looking for some space to take the bike, I relaxed a lot, and as I have already said, sitting still was not my thing, sport has always been and continues to be present in my life, it is part of me.
Have you considered dedicating yourself to sports professionally or has the opportunity ever presented itself?
Being a professional athlete requires a lot of effort, commitment and 100% of the time, I had two of those three abilities, however I did not have the third. You must be clear that this is your goal from a very young age to be able to fight for it and be at the level that professional sports demand. By the time I was able to make the decision to dedicate myself to it, it was no longer possible, because I was too old.
The opportunity arose, but I was a minor and my parents decided for me, they decided not at that time.
How has living in a town influenced this trajectory? Are the opportunities more limited?
My limited career and limited opportunities. We had few companions when training, we had to go outside to visit friendly clubs, we always depended on vehicles that are not always available.
However, I notice a lot of change today, the opportunities are different, there are many more options and sport is part of the daily commitment that the town makes with its inhabitants. The town has improved a lot in this sense, although it will surely improve further.
It is often evident that women’s sports go unnoticed. Have you felt any impediment in the sporting field due to being a woman?
Luckily in this sport I have never felt any impediment or any type of discrimination. In judo the competitions were divided by gender and weight, therefore it was equal and no one had fewer opportunities.
It is true that in classes the male gender was in the majority over the female gender. But that didn’t matter to me, and I even used it to my advantage. Since, as a general rule, I trained with boys who were stronger than me and this helped me in competition, because my competitions were against girls of a lower weight than my classmates with whom I practiced.
How do you think women’s sports could be given visibility in such a way that it is comparable to the visibility that men’s competitions have?
There should be no difference in choosing an activity because of being a man or a woman. Sport is not for boys or girls, sport is health, it is a matter of taste and dedication. And any activity is going to be positive for our physique and also our mind, regardless of whether we are female or male. And so I believe that it should be instilled in families, since I believe that they are the greatest reference at an early age and I believe that sons and daughters should be encouraged to play sports and not condition them by the fact that they consider that it is a sport that It is not for girls or it is not for boys, sport has no gender or sex.
On the other hand, soccer sometimes overshadows the rest of the sports because they are not sports for the masses. Do you think other sports need more visibility? How could this be achieved?
Yes, football actually eclipses other sports.
In fact, at an early age, in cases where a child does not like soccer, they end up not playing any sport. This is due to numerous factors. First of all, in the family nucleus it is usually the sport that is talked about, for which there is the most admiration and therefore the one that is most encouraged. Furthermore, it is the one that appears the most in the media, therefore the one that is most frequently referenced. The media mostly covers this sport and practically never about others. Opportunities to play other sports, especially in villages, are very limited. Not to mention that sports advertising in practically all cases stars male soccer players. For all this they become references, and this causes children and adults to admire them and prefer to play soccer and not other sports, which of course do not provide fame or money to earn a living.
To give more visibility to other types of sport, first of all I would propose improving all of this that I have mentioned, if the referents change the priorities change and this preferential trend towards football as well. For this to be possible, these sports need to have larger budgets that allow them to make themselves known, and for this to be possible, it is necessary to obtain equitable aid and subsidies from public institutions for other sports, so that all kinds of sports are talked about in the media. of competitions and not just sports, and that in urban centers, and especially in towns, all the sports options there are are informed by digital platforms or any other method, since sometimes the inhabitants do not know that there are opportunity to practice other sports in the town.
Now you have launched an entrepreneurship project in relation to sports, what does it consist of?
It is a judo school in La Zarza that is registered and approved at a regional level, that is, we focus on the practice of this sport at an early age, from 4 years old and up. However, we also have the option of training adults although they are a minority. In this school we instill the values that this sport provides us, we teach judokas to fall and knock down their opponents through playful games, psychomotor exercises, competitions, coexistence, etc.
Apart from judo we have also started a personal training project, in small groups. We do a scheduled follow-up with each of our clients and correct bad habits. This project is focused on ending obesity, physical inactivity and improving health and quality of life.
Do you think the bramble encourages sport and the opportunities around it?
In La Zarza it is encouraged. But the problem is that there is a lot of abandonment in sport, it is practiced as a hobby and not as an activity that you commit to and focus on, there is no continuity. This makes it very difficult for businesses that intend to make a living from this, because habits change so often that it does not allow them to stay afloat. One day they practice an activity a lot and the next day they forget about it.
What do you propose to promote more sports activities and professional opportunities in the world of sports?
Although I believe that sporting activities are promoted, I also believe that this is not done with professional opportunities around sport. There are many people trained in the world of sports and very few can make a living from their profession alone. On the part of public institutions, there should be less offer of activities so as not to overshadow those that already do it privately, since small businesses cannot compete with the offers made by public institutions at very low prices or even free. I would like to see businesses that focus on sports helped instead of competing with them, because then there will never be this type of business in the town. And support more professionals in this “world” with events at the local level.
Do you have any goals left to achieve in the world of sports?
Continue to be constant in my work and never leave sport aside because it is a complicated profession. Renew myself if necessary, continue training in this aspect to be on top of the agenda and continue encouraging everyone to practice sports and providing them with the option to do so. Because sport, whatever it is practiced, is equivalent to health.