A proud Gibraltarian 6,000 miles away
By Jason Patron (Rio de Janeiro)

Date 1st August  2018

Bom dia John, Congratulations on an historic achievement regarding the women’s basketball squad. I am a proud Gibraltarian 6,000 miles away. Having lived most of my life away from Gib, thanks to basketball , and having been received with open arms in the US, Australia, Dominican Republic and Brazil, I condem xenophobic behavior in any shape or form. 

 

The world has become heterogenous and pluralistic in nature. We need to be better than trying to mix politics and sport. In fact, we need to set an example at a world stage, because we have always been victims of anachronistic behavior. By engaging in such xenophobic practices,  we would in essence be doing something that we have been highly critical of other countries in the past. As long as foreign participation is for the good of local sport and within FIBA rules, what’s wrong with that? Of course, it needs to be done in moderation and with the goal of thinking that it will be for the benefit of basketball in Gibraltar as a whole. Humans are animals of habit and embrace the status-quo. Resistance to change is normal, but promoting change and new ideals also takes courage. We need that courage to change and keep constant evolution. 

Gracias por tu liderazgo y tu contribución al deporte que tanto amamos! Han sido muchas horas de dedicación por el amor al basquet! 

 

Please congratulate our little “BIG” Rock on this achievement, and especially the girls and coaching staff. Also, big kudos to those players who have placed their country’s banner to the side and have embraced our own with pride and honor. As a global gypsy myself, it would have been very hard for me to survive had I faced xenophobic behavior in the many countries that I have lived. Contrary of what some people may think, I am a proud Gibraltarian from head to toe who has learnt from experiences in life and co-existing alongside other peoples. This has enriched and made me the better person that I am today - Gibraltarian at heart and worldly in nature!!! 

 

Thank you basketball  and all those mentors (John Gonçalves up on that list together with the late Cecil Sant) along the way for an amazing ride. Thank you to the many friends for always being their. I come back home and it feels like not one day has passed. The close relationship still remains.

 

To those basketball youngsters out there, I ask you to dream big and never cut corners. There is no substitute for hard work to achieve perfection. Thanks to the Internet, today we have access to heaps of information on our fingertips. Despite that being a huge plus, athletes need to be aware that NOTHING will substitute HARD WORK. In life, we all create our unique story and carve our way through. I would love to come back one day and tell my own story if it is of benefit to future generations of athletes and if it can serve as an inspiration. 

 

Un fuerte abrazo John, y enhorabuena por esta conquista. Viva el basquet!!!!

 

Jason P. (Rio de Janeiro)

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