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After a lot of pitch, he came to Europe with his hockey stick

Joaquín Martínez is a native of Neuquén and achieved the dream of the pibe: to join the major European hockey leagues. After a lot of peathing, she came.

When talking about sport as a tool for containment and social development, it is not a whim. To bet on sport is to give the population a chance of growth from the individual and the collective. The case of Joaquín Martínez reflects how an activity such as hockey can become a livelihood.

 Your life 

He was born in Neuquén, but grew up in  Cipolletti . He was always a football player and at the age of 10 he was offered  rugby  or hockey to play at school. He chose the second for its similarities with  football  in terms of number of players and size of the court.

A year later he became federated and started playing at Banco Nación, in the chakras. Brick dust,  lawn  and wooden sticks were the tools and surfaces of its beginnings. “It was another hockey in the early 2000,” he explains.

The Banco Nación club was founded and, after a brief step by the club Cipolletti, his family moved to  Neuquén . It was high school start times. There the Independent Club offered them to put together a team of first to a group of kids who had run out of space.  El Roj  or   was one of the first in having synthetic court.  “ That changes the game and makes it more technical and faster,”  he explains.

At the age of 15 he was already a first player and in the provincial team he faced players who are today in the Lions.   For me it was always a hobby, I spent time, although I never projected anything. In 2012, the coach of the Argentina Indoor National Team, Pedro Zayas, who knew me since he was a kid, took me to the National Team to participate.” But the economic part and the needs of the moment did not allow him to continue in the selection.

 Change the boccha 

In 2013 the door was opened to play at Uncas de  Tandil . It was the first experience away from home. A couple of years later the other quality leap would be made.  Brazil  showed him the way in 2015 and there he played in the club at Sociedade Germania. In 2017, Joaquín got the Italian passport and the idea arose of looking for a place outside after much remarching it.

In your curriculum you have the advantage of having belonged to the selection and having European citizenship. Martinez describes his time in Italy as “an incredible experience in another country and with another language.” In  Europe , Holland and  Germany are the top countries as far as hockey is concerned. In a second order there are Belgium, England and Spain and then  France  and Italy.

The best teams have their rented players competing in those countries. There is the concept of reciprocity: in addition to playing in the club, the contract involves working there. Rome is on series A with rivals such as Milan, Turin and Bologna among others.

For this year, the arrival in Lille represented another change in his career.

As for the game, Joaquín comments that  ' 'they brought me to play as a striker, but I was always a midfielder. My qualities are speed and good pass. I'm an intuitive and vertical player. In hockey you run a lot and when you get tired you go out because there are unlimited changes. Playing as a striker I have to run differently, I play the ball less. I train two or three times a day and changed the food, something much more professional .” 

 A lifestyle 

In the months he passes away from home, the neuquin does not lose contact. In addition to talking daily with family and friends, Víctor Prado is the coach who sends him the routines from Neuquén and with that he trains individually.  “ Being alone with the ball and the court for me is important and serves to keep the rhythm. ' '

With these opportunities Martinez won in Europe, it becomes clear that doing a sport can be much more than a physical or professional activity. This is a human choice and a lifestyle. “I have every desire and it motivates me to know another country, another language and another way of seeing things. I want to be an engineer and work in renewable energy, which is what I like. This is a lot of work here and I'm interested to know how they make your country work.”

Joaquín does not forget his roots and highlights the values that led him to be where he is. “I never dreamed of traveling so much with hockey. This is not meritocracy because I had many people who helped me: the coaches and colleagues I had, the club that hosted me, the state that put the infrastructure and the Neuquina Hockey Federation. Everything collaborated to get here. That is why I am always grateful.”

 SOURCE:  Rio Negro Newspaper

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