U. Andrés Bello honored its athletes who competed in Santiago 2023
During the event to honor the athletes, UNAB, as the official sponsor, announced an update to its sports policy and offered postgraduate scholarships to its student-athletes and alumni. This initiative aims to enhance their skills following the completion of their studies.
A spectacular celebration was hosted at the Casona de Las Condes campus of the Universidad Andrés Bello, marking the culmination of a significant chapter in both national and university sports history.
On November 7, UNAB, celebrated as the ‘University of the Pan American Games,’ organized a special ceremony. This event honored the over 70 students and alumni participating in the Pan American Games and those set to compete in the upcoming Parapan American Games Santiago 2023. Additionally, the university honored two students on the rugby team at the recent world championship.
Of the total number of medals obtained by Team Chile, UNAB athletes contributed 30%, securing 25 medals. In recognition of the young athletes’ effort, talent, and commitment, the ceremony included awarding scholarships for further studies, covering diplomas or master’s degrees, to this group of athletes.
UNAB President Julio Castro expressed his satisfaction, saying, ‘We are happy for several reasons. As a country, we have demonstrated our capability to organize such events and for the infrastructure that will now be available for the continued training of elite athletes. We are also pleased with the positive results, the participation of Chilean athletes in the Pan American Games, and particularly for our students.’
The president emphasized the participation of more than 70 athletes from the university and the 25 medals they won, stating, ‘These students fully embody the values that this university aspires to uphold.
Juan Antonio Guzmán, president of the UNAB Board of Directors, also shared his enthusiasm, stating, ‘This is very exciting. The number of athletes from our university who participated in these Games, their sportsmanship, and the spirit they displayed are extraordinary. Awarding them scholarships, I believe, is the perfect culmination of a truly beautiful and well-deserved ceremony.’
He further highlighted, ‘Both for the Board of Directors and the President and his teams, past and present, sports have always been a key focus. Sports imbue young people with numerous qualities that make them better individuals, and they set a great example.
Harold Mayne-Nicholls, Executive President of Santiago 2023, expressed his pride, saying, ‘I am proud to have been invited to lead this project and was fortunate to witness many of you compete. While the medals are gratifying, for those of us in the stands who saw the effort each of you put in, believe me, it meant much more than the medals. As a country, you succeeded in bringing families together around this event, and these families’ collective spirit will help build the great community that Chile has always been.’
Along with this recognition, the university announced an update to its current sports policy, which has helped students balance their university education with their sports careers.
«Today, as we recognize their achievements, we also want to reaffirm our commitment to updating our Institutional Sports Policy. This policy is not just a document; it is a statement of principles that guides our action and reflects our commitment to the integral development of our students,» said Vice Provost Nicolás Bronfman. He emphasized the need to ensure that ‘every student-athlete receives the support necessary for their academic and sports careers not only to coexist but to enhance each other mutually.’
The Joy of Athletes
The recognition bestowed on its athletes by UNAB was met with surprise and joy. Beach volleyball bronze medalist Marco Grimalt shared, ‘I’m nearing the completion of my undergraduate degree, and I’m excited to continue my studies here in a postgraduate program. I haven’t decided on a specific field yet, but I’ll find something meaningful.’
Chris Vorphal, a UNAB Physical Education graduate and fellow beach volleyball competitor, expressed his gratitude: ‘Receiving this recognition from the university is really heartwarming. It makes one feel valued. I studied here and have always been supported with scholarships and encouragement. The university’s values deeply resonate with me.’
He added, ‘I’m torn between laughter and tears because I hadn’t planned on continuing my studies, but this opportunity can’t be missed. I’m very grateful. Many dream of pursuing further education after college, and we should seize this chance. It puts us in a better position for the future.’
Javiera Andrade, a Chemistry and Pharmacy student and archery team member, said, ‘I’m thrilled because the university supported a significant part of my preparation for the games. They’ve provided me with all the facilities to train and study. I’ve had this support every year, and it’s wonderful to be recognized for our efforts.
Kevin Rubio, a student of Sports Coaching and silver medalist in 3×3 Basketball, highlighted the significance of university support for athletes: ‘It’s crucial that universities back their athletes, and UNAB truly is the university for athletes. They’ve always been accommodating with permissions for me. I am deeply grateful for their recognition of our dual roles as athletes and students.’
It’s also noteworthy that in addition to the significant involvement of its students as competitors, UNAB inspired over 1,000 students to volunteer for Santiago 2023. The university fully immersed itself in the spirit of the games, broadcasting the competitions on campus and organizing raffles for students to attend and support Team Chile’s events.