The Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) was nominated to receive the 2023 National Sports Award, the highest award in this field and which is presented by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
This was announced this October 12 by General Luis Cresencio Sandoval, head of the Sedena, during a visit led by the president of the Association of Mexican Olympians (AOM), Daniel Aceves Villagrán.
And the AOM proposed this agency for the field of “promotion, protection and promotion of the practice of sports”, a category that does not grant economic resources.
Aceves Villagrán highlighted that the Army has a long tradition of supporting Mexican athletes since 1936 and maintains that support today.
Even several representatives who have been helped by the organization have obtained medals in different international events, achieving 16 Olympic medals: 86 in Pan American Games, 241 in Central American and Caribbean Games, and 53 in world championships.
“SEDENA athletes have stood out for their discipline and perseverance, many of them are historical figures of Mexican sports; icons and models for Mexican children and youth, who have been protagonists of true athletic feats”
In addition, he pointed out that by organizing sporting events for military personnel and civilians, among which two editions of the “Intersecretarial Baseball Tournament” and the “La Gran Fuerza de México” Sports Race stand out, the Sedena encourages and promotes the practice of physical-sports activities, contributing to the prevention of diseases related to a sedentary lifestyle, overweight and obesity.
Also present at the meeting were the president of the World Boxing Council (WBC), Mauricio Sulaimán Saldívar; and the head of Sports Values for Development and Peace, Héctor Sulaimán Saldívar.
It was at the end of last September when the call for the Award was published. The call closes on October 15; From the 30th of the same month to November 10, 2023, a ruling will determine the winners.
As for the professional sports category, Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Pérez and Feyenoord forward Santiago Giménez are strong candidates to win the National Sports Award.
In previous years, Lorena Ochoa (golf), Gustavo Ayón (basketball), Saúl Canelo Álvarez (boxing), Julio Urías (baseball) and Javier Chicharito Hernández (soccer) have been awarded.
For a few years now, Sedena has incorporated high-performance athletes, to whom it offers the same benefits and salary as members of the Army.
In order for athletes to join the military, they must complete an eight-week military training course, always ensuring that it does not interfere with the athletes’ training and competitions.
The grades and rewards are based on the athletes’ sports results. For example: the diver Rommel Pacheco entered the Sedena as a corporal, but currently he is already in the rank of officer, as a second lieutenant.
Although it is not considered a scholarship, athletes assigned to Sedena receive the salary of belonging to the Armed Forces, as well as the benefits it offers, which can extend to a retirement plan and mortgage loans.
According to data from the Military Personnel Asset Table for 2019, athletes can obtain income ranging from 11,904 pesos, in the rank of soldier, to 33,692 pesos as Captain, the maximum rank to which an athlete can aspire.