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The “last quarter” of Camila Caram, captain of Las Diablas

That October 12, 2022, Las Diablas –the women’s national field hockey team– were determined to reach gold in the final played against Las Leonas –the Argentine team–, within the framework of the XII South American Games, held in Asuncion, Paraguay.

Both teams completed the four times tied to zero. Everything was going to be defined in the shoot out (the penalties of sport). Las Diablas had a great weight on their shoulders: if they won, it would be their first victory against Argentina and their first gold at the South American level.

In the shoot out, Dominica Ananias she was the first to score for Las Diablas. In between, the concierge Natalia Salvador he made a series of covers that gave the advantage to Chile. Then the national Josephine Khamis He placed the ball in the rival goal. Finally, Ananias herself repeated and made a new note. Penalties ended 3-2. The Chileans got the desired gold in the South American Games.

Video via Twitter: @chile_hockey

“It was a super important victory because it was historic,” said the captain of Las Diablas, Camila Caram Walbauma The counter.

Caram, a native of the Metropolitan Region, has been playing field hockey since she was five years old. At 17, she joined the Las Diablas adult team and since 2015 she has been captain of the team. She exercises in the defender position. Now, at 33 years old, she plans to retire from the sport in a while. In the “last quarter” of her career, she sheds some light on Las Diablas and her upcoming challenges.

-His next challenge is the Nations Cup. How did they classify? Why is it so relevant?
-We were not classified for this year’s version because it was done with the ranking of the previous year, and Canada, which was one of the teams that was classified, was not going to be able to attend due to monetary issues. We were the next highest ranked after Canada, so we were able to move up.

The tournament is super important because they are the best eight teams after those in the Pro League. It is an instance that at some point seemed super distant and now it is getting a little closer to you.

-Since 2015 Sergio “Cachito” Vigil directs Las Diablas. What has his role in the team been like?
-It has been a process of mentality change, to support the fact that we are a team, that we have these dreams and clear objectives and that we are all on the same page to want to fulfill them in the end. So more than anything I believe in the issue of having had a team union in favor of an objective.

Financing

The captain of Las Diablas reviewed some problems related to the financing of the sport. “The system has been getting a little better,” she said.

-Do the players of Las Diablas have a salary for playing?
-We receive the Proddar Scholarship that is delivered by the IND, but that scholarship is only for 16 or 18 players, who are the ones who achieve the objectives that they propose to have that scholarship.

Now the system has been improving a little, in the sense that before, the first time you were not on the payroll, the Proddar was cut off and in the end it was lost.

The system is not very good for collective teams because only some receive and that Proddar can be lost very quickly. Now, the system has improved a bit because it is not lost so easily, in the sense that the team’s roster rotates.

-Does the State finance your trips to international tournaments?
-It is something that is financed through the Olympic Plan, the IND and the Ministry of Sport. We don’t put any money out of our pocket.

One presents a project, a budget and they finance 70% of this trip: players, coaching staff. You have to look for resources to be able to complement that the trip is good, of good quality and with a good number of people.

Do you have other financing problems? To train, for example.
-We just have our own court. We are just going to have the possibility of having our pitch and not having to lease pitches to other clubs and spend money on that item. In addition, we always had to adapt to the schedules that were free from the clubs and now with our own pitch at the end we can have the schedules that we really want.

It only started to be used this week. It had been ready more or less since March, but there were issues around the venue, where the National Stadium is, water issues, which had not been resolved. Only now was it solved and they began to be used.

Camila Caram receiving the gold medal at the South American Games. Credit: Instagram @ccaram

Last room

In recent years, Caram has done more than just play field hockey. In 2018 he created the Impúlsate Foundation, dedicated to promoting sports among schoolchildren. In 2021 she was a candidate for Vitacura councilor for Evópoli.

“I took that opportunity (to be a candidate for councilor), I took it a bit to be able to reach even more people, from an entire commune, taking the sport to more people. It was a stage and the truth is that I did not like the subject so much and I left it there, ”she said.

-From the outside, field hockey looks like an elitist sport and not very accessible to a large part of the population, do you think that is so?
-It was like that without a doubt before, but now it’s like a prejudice. Today hockey has managed to reach all parts of Chile, to many more schools, there are many more clubs.

In reality, there are no great restrictions to make a hockey workshop or start playing hockey somewhere, because they can be used from multi-field soccer fields, these synthetic rubber fields, even cement fields, so in the end it is a type of adaptation of the sport. Not that you need a professional synthetic court to train.

-You created a foundation dedicated to promoting field hockey in the country. What activities do they do?
-Through hockey we want to teach children socio-emotional skills, because we believe that the best way for children to learn is by doing and playing, and we believe that socio-emotional skills are key to the future life of the country’s boys and girls.

We do workshops in five schools. We are in Cerro Navia, La Pintana, La Florida and La Cisterna.

-Previously you had already expressed your intention to retire soon from the sport, do you still maintain it?
-Yes, although nothing is written in stone obviously, but my plan is more or less to reach this Olympic cycle and after that retire. A couple more years.

-Could we say that you are in the last quarter of your career?
-Yes anyway.

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