Lucia Blanco and Andrés Montiel Reyes – top Adeje athletes

During the Gala event the Resilience Award was presented to Faustino Afonso, an athlete who has led a tireless struggle overcoming the odds

24 february 2024

On Friday 23rd February, the Adeje Auditorium hosted the IX Adeje Sports Gala, in which the archer Lucia Blanco and shooter Andrés Montiel Reyes were named as Adeje’s top female and male athletes of 2023. A variety of clubs, projects, initiatives and athletes from Adeje were also honoured during the event .

Andrés Montiel Reyes is the winner of this year's award for the best male athlete. His sporting discipline is Practical Shooting, IPSC. The sport was born in the 1950s in California as training for elite military and police groups. Montiel's achievements this year include 12 podiums, with titles including Canary Islands champion, 4th place in the Spanish championship, Spanish team champion, runner-up in the international open in Andorra and participating in the European Championship in Greece with the Spanish national team. In 2022, he also participated in the World Championship in Thailand. Andrés is recognised as one of the best shooters on the international and national scene.

Lucia Blanco, aged 19, is the leading archer in the Canary Islands, with only one year of experience in the discipline and is already the Canary Island Islands in the senior outdoor category, runner-up in Spain in Junior category in Recurve Archery and is ranked among the top 10 archers nationally. In addition, she has been among the 30 best in the world . Lucia is an example of effort, commitment and personal development and her goal is to represent Spain at the 2028 Olympic Games.

This gala awarded the "culture of effort", a concept based on the idea that success and progress are achieved through hard work, dedication and perseverance. It emphasises the importance of individual effort over luck or external circumstances. This is a mind-set that values responsibility, discipline and tenacity, recognising personal and group merit as the key to success and achievement.


Youngest Athlete
Sofia Álvarez Delgado, aged 3, was the winner of this distinction through play and fun.

Veteran Athlete
For the fifth consecutive year, the prize was awarded to Margarita Herrera Rodríguez, a resident of Fañabé who has been practising Pilates for 26 years and has no plans to retire!

Fair Play
The Fair Play award went to 6/7 years old (prebenjamin) teams of U.D Las Zocas and the Adeje Municipal School. This award is given to those who represent sporting values, which take priority over the result, demonstrating that what is truly important is respect for the rules and enjoyment of sports above all else.

Social Work
The Social Work award went to Cayor Canarias Foot. For a number of years Adeje Town Hall’s department of sports has been working with a project based in Meckhe, Senegal, led by the Cayor Canarias Foot Association. This organisation has carried out enormous social and human work in the neighbouring country. The association focuses its efforts on delivering sports and educational material, as well as providing support in health and educational centres and to Senegalese athletes who come to Tenerife. They are currently awaiting a decision on a petition for subsidies to buy land and form a women's cooperative in Meckhe.

Faustino Afonso, an example of perseverance, constancy and of being a tireless fighter without limits was honoured with the award for resilience. After studying medicine, Faustino Afonso has achieved what he had set out to do years ago, to be able to operate despite his disability, which prevents him from standing for a long time in a fixed position, but thanks to an exoskeleton he has managed to achieve just that, overcoming a challenge that seemed impossible but today is a reality.

The Adeje Sports Gala also gives space to those athletes who inspire. This year Alex Roca Campillo gets the award. Alex suffered a brain episode which caused a 76% physical disability, affecting the left side of his body. Despite his situation, he was the first person with this degree of disability to finish a marathon. Over time, Alex has managed to complete 5 triathlons, 1 aquathlon and 6 half marathons. Alex Roca is a true representative of the culture of effort.

Sports Elite
Among Adeje’s residents are some who manage to reach the absolute top level in their sports. At the 9th Adeje Sports Gala, two Adeje residents who have earned the ‘Elite’ tag are Alejandro Gorrín and Juanma Herzog. Both have been part of the UD Las Palmas first team in the Spanish first division.

Ilimane Diop, who has been linked to CB Canarias, a team currently playing in the ACB league, was also recognised. Ilimane has played in the King's Cup in Malaga and has a long and fantastic professional career behind him. Once again, the combination of effort, commitment, and sacrifice to achieve goals is reflected in Ilimane’s successes and of course it is also thanks to the great support of his family too

Sporting Event
This award was for the Family Run Fedola. During 2023 Adeje hosted 63 sporting events at different levels, including national and international. However, as this year the gala is paying special attention to the culture of effort and solidarity the Family Run Fedola was the obvious winner, and the event was organised with the support of Canary Run.

This solidarity run brought together numerous families and running enthusiasts, the main aim being to contribute to social causes through participation. The funds raised were allocated to NGO projects in the Canary Islands, in line with the ethical principles of the FEDOLA group, which emphasise the value of people over companies.

At the age of 23, Acorán Rodríguez Mora suffered an eye infection that would eventually leave him blind. Acorán, a resident of Armeñime and of Gomeran descent, had been practising kick boxing since the age of 16. With his changed situation he initially became discouraged and gave up the sport but thanks to the positive messages from his friends and close friends, such as Jhonatan Jacinto, who had been his trainer, he regained his confidence and enthusiasm, which led him to hang a bag in his garage and take up the sport again. The culture of effort has always been present in Acorán and he deserves this recognition.

The Honorary award was presented to Club Costa Adeje Tenerife Egatesa. UDG Tenerife was founded in 2013 and won promotion to the first division just two years later. In its eight seasons in the top flight, the club has achieved two fourth places and reached the semi-finals of the Copa de la Reina three times, the last time during the 2021-2022 season. In the 2022-2023 season, the first as a professional competition in the history of Spanish women's football, they finished sixth. This season the team has moved to Adeje.

The promotion in the 2014-2015 season was an important milestone for the club, which began to dream big. Currently, they are the only women's club in the Canary Islands in the first division, serving as an inspiration for many players who dream of playing at the highest level. The effort and dedication of the board of directors, the technical staff and all those involved in the club have shown that hard work leads to success. For these ten years of tireless work and for being a benchmark in women's football, the Honorary award was won by Club Costa Adeje Tenerife Egatesa.

As mentioned, 63 sporting events were held in Adeje in 2023 and the company that has received this award has collaborated in more than 30 of them, Garden VALEFOR. This is the company that decorates the town hall's premises with plants and flowers, adding to the welcome to the public - maybe unnoticed by many but important.

This year there is a second Company award, which goes to the Mynd Hotel. This hotel, located in Callao Salvaje, is positioning itself as a benchmark for sustainability and respect for the environment, linking its offer to a type of tourism in line with these items of respect.

Sporting Trajectory
Judith Rolo Marichal was this year’s winner. . A few months ago she announced that she was retiring from competition and this award recognises the journey she has been on in the sport of adapted swimming. During her career she was runner-up in the adapted swimming world championship in Mexico in 2017, European record holder in 100m butterfly, silver in the European championship, world record holder in the short pool relay, nominated for best sportswoman in Tenerife in 2019, etc.

Adeje Town Hall has awarded this prize to Tomás Hernández Barreda marking his excellent academic and professional career. Tomás works in Tenerife Top Training (T3), in the swimming pool area and is a graduate in Education Sciences. He has a specialist Master's in Physical Education, as well as a Master's in High Performance in Sport, in Sport Psychology and another in aquatic activities. Professionally, he has worked as a personal trainer, specialist trainer in open water and university expert in planning and control of training in individual sports at the University of Castilla-La Mancha.