What’s Next for Cuban Sports? – The Nation.

Since 1959, when Fidel Castro started the new process or post-revolutionary approach to sports, one of the main goals was to bring sports and physical education to all of the people on the island. Fidel considered access to sport and recreation a basic human right and an indispensable attribute in order for society to be better and for the people to have sound body and mind. At that time, professional sports were banned and so were private costly schools. Kids were selected using two basic screening methods: aptitude and attitude. The same process was introduced for the study of music, dance, etc, with the government coining the term cultura física (physical culture). The slogan coined during a speech many years ago (over forty) was “Sports are the right of the people,” and the goal was to eliminate economic or social impediments to kids playing any and all sports. Today, regardless of your personal interests, kids are playing stick ball, baseball, softball, basketball and now soccer, all over—in parks, on the streets—much like anywhere else in the world. The more classically elite sports (rowing, tennis, golf, swimming, diving, equitation, etc) are not as popular, mainly for economic reasons…the state needs more resources to make them available, and this is challenging under current circumstances.

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