The connection between the newly crowned World Cup Champions of Spain and the continent of Africa goes beyond South Africa hosting this year’s tournament. As España’s soccer team was busy fighting to be the world’s best on the field, a group of former Spanish basketball legends and celebrities were busy playing in a game of their own where the proceeds would support Nothing But Nets™ in their global fight against malaria! The 2nd annual “Partido Contra La Malaria” celebrity basketball game took place at the La Plana sports hall in Barcelona where Team Vida (Life) played against Team Deporte (Sport).
In addition to the renowned former men’s basketball players, other participants included Sergi Bruguera, former champion of Roland Garros; Mireia Belmonte, Olympian and European swimming Champion and Jordi “Chiqui” Sans, international and five-time water polo Olympian. The teams were also mixed with four Spanish women’s national team players, Lucila Pascua, Anna Cruz, Laura Camps and Silvia Dominguez. It was undeniably a very exciting and competitive game, with the final score, in the high 80s. But the points that were scored were insignificant compared to the satisfaction that all the participants felt in contributing to the fight against such a deadly disease.
Halftime proved to be as educational as it was entertaining. First, Mrs. Carlota Dobaño, an investigator at the Barcelona Center for International Health Research, addressed the crowd explaining to all the fans what causes malaria and used a few adorable children to demonstrate how insecticide-treated bed nets are used to effectively and efficiently prevent the disease. After that, comedian acrobat Javier Javichy took the stage and had everyone smiling and he skillfully wowed the audience and kept everyone focused on the need to raise money and resources for Malaria.
It is encouraging to know that Spain is not only passionate about their success in sports, but that they also are passionate about using the platform of sports to save lives! Envíe una red. Salve una vida! Send a net. Save a life!