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With the best wishes for 2019

Secretary for Sport María José Rienda is on our last front cover of 2018 as she wishes all readers a Happy New Year. Her presence on the cover reflects a year in where we saw many obstacles being overcome for women in sport. Our annual gala held in early December aimed to focus on women in sport and I hope it was effective in increasing awareness of the level of international successes achieved in a number of sports that would have been unthinkable of some years ago. It's now apt that that individual now responsable for overseeing sport in Spain at the highest level is a woman and a former World Cup Alpine ski racer, as we face a year of change.

MARIA JOSE RIENDA

Changes

I mention this as a reminder that a new series of legislative laws surrounding sport that are currently being prepared after the previous incarnation from 1990 has served us well. One only needs to look at the situation ahead of its introduction back then and a look at where we are now in sport. However, much has changed in our society since then and certainly the timing is right for an update. It was due to be modified many times over the years but was always eclipsed by the possibility of national teams that would represent Catalunya and the Basque Country. Now that those debates seem to have been laid rest to one side, a new series of laws will benefit all in the world of sport, especially women.

Maria Jose Rienda with Spanish Junior Gymnastics team

Preparation

2019 is a pre-Olympic year. A sports-mad friend of mine used to claim that success at any Olympic Games is carefully prepared for in the year preceding the event and this is something that we will certainly be paying close attention to. Sport is one thing that works well in Spain and I'd like to avail of my daily column to thank all those who work behind the scenes in all areas of our national sports. Thanks to these individuals we can all enjoy countless successes and it's a privilege for us to be able to relay these stories to our, every growing audience on a daily basis. I really wish you all the best for the year ahead. Happy 2019!