This September 19 will be one year since there was a replacement at the head of the Presidency of the Castilla-La Mancha Handball Federation. That day, the German citizen María López Pérez assumed the regional leadership of this sport, replacing the Toledo, although born in Miranda de Ebro, Enrique Corcuera. This veteran leader breathed handball through all his pores and was president for 23 consecutive seasons.
After those 12 months since the relay, handball in the region continues to grow with solid foundations. In this regard, from the Territorial based in Toledo they point out to ABC that «without counting on the teams under the tutelage of the Spanish Federation, we have 23 registered clubs and some 2,000 federative licenses. And another fact to take into account is that the important successes of the Spanish men’s and women’s teams increase the interest of the youngest to start in this sport.
In this regard, and if we go any further, there were three Castilian-La Mancha players who were part of the men’s national team at the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas, Jorge Maqueda and Miguel Sanchez-Migallón. In addition, in the female team that competed in the Japanese capital was the goalkeeper Mercedes castellanos. These international presences help a lot in promoting a sport that is between third and fourth in Spain in terms of the number of spectators in the stands, only behind football and basketball, and sharing a position with futsal.
The Territorial of Castilla-La Mancha organizes all the competitions from the Autonomous League to the youth ones. Those that come behind are included in School Age Sports, which is under the control of the Castilla-La Mancha Community Board and the five councils.
BM Cuenca, among the elite
The only Castilian-La Mancha club that will compete this 2021-2022 season in the elite of Spanish handball will be BM Cuenca, a club that carries the main sponsorship of the Incarlopsa firm. The traumatic and unexpected decline of BM Guadalajara at the end of last season has orphaned the Cuenca team to fight in the difficult Asobal League.
With a budget of around 600,000 euros, BM Cuenca aspires to find a place that will allow it to compete in Europe again, as it did in the 2019-2020 campaign. Going down one step, we find two clubs from the region in the Silver Honor Division: BM Guadalajara and Alarcos de Ciudad Real. The Alcarreño team will seek to return to the Asobal League this season, as announced from the Guadalajaran capital, while Alarcos will try again to assault a category that resists them year after year.
The truth is that there is already a lot of desire in Ciudad Real to have a team at the top of Spanish handball, a peak that makes the stands of the emblematic ‘Quijote Arena’ pavilion roar again. The competition will begin on the 25th of this month with these clashes: Guadalajara-Villa de Aranda and Alicante-Alarcos. The two Castilian-La Mancha teams will play in different groups and, therefore, there will be no regional derbies.
Finally, the last category at the state level is the First National, a tournament that will have two teams from the region in contention: Bolaños and Caserío de Ciudad Real. The competition will also start on September 25 with these matches: Bolaños-Pinto and Triana Sevilla-Caserío. Until last May, the coach of BM Bolaños was Carlos Alberto Yuste Izquierdo, the current general director of Youth and Sports of the Castilla-La Mancha Community Board. The substitute for Yuste on the Bolañego bench was Javier Márquez.
As far as the women’s section is concerned, the spearhead of Castilian-La Mancha handball is located in two towns belonging to Campo de Calatrava and separated by only 17 kilometers: Bolaños and Pozuelo. Both clubs will play one more season in the Silver Honor Division, that is, one step away from the Honor Division. In fact, the Bolañego team unsuccessfully played the promotion play-off last season. The last neighborhood derby between both teams was on the occasion of the Ciudad Real Diputacion Cup final on August 28, a match that ended with a 27-33 Bolañega victory. Bolaños is sponsored by Vino Doña Berenguela, while Pozuelo is sponsored by Seguros Soliss.
The love of handball in Bolaños de Calatrava has been growing day by day in his 20 years of life, a circumstance derived in large part from the mythical figure of Macarena Aguilar. This Bolañega player has a successful international career, in which a bronze medal with Spain at the London 2012 Olympic Games stands out as the zenith. In recognition of her people, the Bolaños sports hall bears her name.