After three terms and eight years as president of Olivais, he will leave the direction of the club. What is your assessment of this connection?
I take a very positive view. In the midst of considerable economic difficulties in the country and in the world, Olivais FC managed to keep hundreds of young people in regular physical activity, something that all studies indicate is essential for a balanced growth of young people, with positive repercussions on their school performance and their personal and social evolution. Olivais FC has managed to provide them with a minimum of conditions for regular and persistent work, progression goals and many district, regional and national titles.
Are 12 years in Olivanenses directions. In your opinion, what has changed for the better in Olivais?
We cannot make a balance of this type, as all directions have managed, over the 85 years of Olivais FC's history, to bring the boat to a good port. All directions had to deal with different difficulties, but all managed to fulfill the club's mission equally. To honor the work of those who have been here for longer than I wanted to distinguish two people: Mr. Artur Caetano, who has worked at Olivais FC for 58 years and has held all the positions there are to occupy except that of president (not for lack of merit but for immense personal modesty), and Eng. Carlos Daniel, son of one of the club's founders, tireless worker for the club and author of the two books on the history of Olivais FC already published. I have had the pleasure of collaborating with both over the years.
Looking at these 12 years, and the eight as president, what do you feel is left to say, say?
I think that there is still to be done what has always been to be done and there was never a political will to implement: a clear relationship between national, regional and local institutions to define a stable legal and financial framework for amateur sports clubs. No club can plan its sports season properly because it does not know what financial support it will receive, or what training spaces it will be able to occupy (its own facilities are rarely enough). As almost all athletes are students, there should be clear and flexible articulation with school sports (as there are in many other countries), there should be extended training possibilities for the best athletes (who are usually also better students) and none of this is defined, there are only punctual measures that appear and disappear with stunning speed. Worst of all, Portuguese statistics on childhood obesity are worrying and there are no conditions for regular physical training for all young people.
Were the approval of the municipality's support for the replacement of the floor covering and benches in the Eng. Augusto Correia Pavilion two tasty “baskets” to close the mandate?
Effectively, it was a delayed measure, which took a lot of work to get to where we arrived, which required the production of hundreds of documents over the years, but which will have a conclusion that will greatly contribute to the quality of Olivais FC's sports work.
In terms of infrastructure, there is still no funding for a pavilion attached to “Olivais' house”. In your opinion, should this be an achievement for which the future leadership should strive?
It is an obvious need for Olivais FC. We can only train from 6.30 pm on weekdays, as athletes are students and have classes until late. With 1H30 training units, there is only room for three units per day, 15 in total. As the mini-basketball trains on Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning, there are actually only 14 training units left for all teams. Olivais usually has six training teams and two seniors (sometimes more), who must train four and five times a week, respectively. A total of 34 training units are required. Duplication of Olivais FC's training capacity is essential and even so, more spaces are still needed, as the Mini Basketball needs to train more (and the kids want).
The 2018/2019 season was marked by a double, Women's League and Portuguese Cup, in the senior women's team. In 2019/2020 they had already raised the Super Cup and the Federation Cup, in addition to the return to European competitions. Did the female seniors “write” yet another golden page in the history of basketball at Olivais?
It is true! We had excellent players in the two teams led by Inês Viana, Alice Martins and Marcy Gonçalves, guided by an excellent coach, Eugénio Rodrigues, and framed by three managers who were very “sweating” for the club: José Mingocho, José Castro and Luís Santos. It goes down in history.
Are you proud of this team's journey in recent seasons?
Clear. Me and all the olivanenses and all the basketball lovers. They are an icon of the Santo António dos Olivais neighborhood and the city of Coimbra, an example for all young athletes.
Looking at the senior male team… will the climb to Proliga still have to be the goal?
Definitely. We have had quality athletes, good and experienced coaches, we have all the conditions to play in a Proliga. This year we were launched to discuss the climb under the baton of experienced coach Emanuel Seco, with the support of the main sponsor and a team led by the student, player and coach Nelson Jossias, but the season ended abruptly. For the year, the struggle will certainly continue.
What opinion do you have about the team's path over the past eight years?
This team has been hampered by budgetary difficulties, but has had excellent coaches and players, coveted by many clubs. This past year, with the generous and substantial support of ABTF Betão, could have gone further, but the pandemic has frustrated our expectations.
Is the formation of Olivais another reason for your pride? Was there an increase in the number of athletes and also in titles?
The number of athletes has fluctuated a lot over the years, as in the whole country, depending on the economic conditions and the training spaces available (we usually have to train in four or five different pavilions and sometimes quite far from home). Indeed, in recent years, the formation has achieved an enviable number of titles, presence in final national stages and athletes called to national teams, women and men. I would like to remind you, for example, that there are four appearances in the national final stages of the U16 women's team that won the National Cup last year. Also the team of sub-14 men, three-time district champion, last year present in the Final Phase to six, where he obtained an honorable 4th national place, in the step where there are more teams in the country.
He was in a previous direction, he was chairman of the GA Board and chairman of the board for three terms. Do you leave with the feeling of “duty accomplished”?
Totally. There are 23 years of connection to the basketball of Olivais FC and 12 years with managerial functions.
In these twelve years there must be countless funny / funny stories. Can you tell one that you remembered?
Many curious stories have happened. I can tell you the following about the saga of obtaining visas from foreign athletes to enter Portugal. There is the figure of “Temporary stay visa for the exercise of amateur sports activities”, duly legislated and present on the pages of official entities (such as the SEF-Foreigners and Borders Service). However, I have to contact the Portuguese Consulates in each country directly to clarify the situation as many only know visas for professional activities in companies. I also have to clarify that Olivais Futebol Clube is actually a basketball club (the world of football is not well regarded and there have been many problems in this area), that Olivais FC is known and recognized nationally and internationally. Hours on the phone, often via Skype because regular calls reach prohibitive prices. In one case, the visa was even refused in the first instance because the Consulate considered that it was false that the visa applicant was an athlete, despite being an athlete from the national team of her country, with a public record in the International Federation (FIBA). Only after an appeal with many documents proving the existence and activity of Olivais FC was it possible to obtain a visa.
He is a math teacher at UC and I play the pun. Do you agree that, in your directions, Olivais added victories that helped to multiply the titles?
The leaderships need to negotiate with the public authorities, with the Federation, with the other clubs, with the sponsors, with the schools, etc., etc., etc., but the sum of the titles are the athletes and coaches. Only the quality of the work of athletes and coaches allows us to get where we have been. How else could one explain the presence, in the last five years, in seven national final stages of training, the achievement of 12 district titles, 3 national bronze medals and a national title in training?
Still in arithmetic … What achievement do you think was the most tasty addition?
I highlight two: the National U-20 Men's Cup, the only one won by Olivais FC, which was the first national title won by Olivais FC with me as president, and the 2020 Women's League Federation Cup, for having been the first won by Olivais FC in such a difficult and demanding race (three games in three consecutive days with less than 24H00 between them).
He also has a coaching course and has worked with mini-basketball teams. Can we have Jaime Silva back in training for young players in the future?
I have always followed Minibaskette which is clearly the step of my preference and in the past two years I have coached the Mini 8 team that I have followed in many tournaments. I took the level I basketball coach course in 2006 and did an internship in Minibasketball with the experienced coach Paulo Cordeiro (a living legend of Olivais) that I followed in Mini 10 and Mini 12, for four years. I hope to remain connected to the mini-basketball. As I said in an interview I gave to Planeta Basket in 2008, "Teaching basketball does not seem that different from teaching Mathematics." How I like to teach mathematics …
What message would you like to leave to Olivanense members and supporters?
Only with the help of everyone, Olivais can successfully fulfill its role. Help Olivas FC and they are helping society in what is most vital: the harmonious development of young people.
And to athletes, what would you like to say, “at the time of the farewell”?
Look at all the exciting examples from Olivais FC's 85-year history and try to be inspired by its greatest icons and, why not, overcome them.
For the future direction, do you want to leave some kind of advice / recommendation?
I recommend what I have taken as my motto over all these years: we have to honor all the rich history of Olivais FC as a sports and social institution and try to do the best we can.
In 2020 Olivais celebrated 85 years of existence. What, in your opinion, are the most distinctive features of the club that is a national benchmark in basketball?
Olivais FC is characterized by the family and mutual help environment that runs through athletes, managers and their families. The pavilion was built by a committee of the house where the leaders David Neves and Artur Caetano stood out, with the help of the entire population of the city who actively collaborated in their free time. From the arraiais of old times to the Olivais bar, superiorly directed by Mr. Adelino Henriques, passing by the Olivais icons, Mr. Periquito and Carlitos, who pass by there, always want to return: once Olivanense, always Olivanense.
Thank you. Just two more brief questions, your age and naturalness.
I am born in the parish of Sé Nova, in Coimbra, I was born, in 1955, in the maternity Dr. Daniel de Matos. This year I will be 65 years old, 45 years old as a teacher in higher education. For 40 years I have counted on the inseparable help of my wife Ana Isabel Rosendo. I have five daughters and, for now, two grandchildren.