At the age of 23, the athlete with trisomy 21 hopes to “be a champion” in the sport and take her team to the podium
Beatriz “Competitive” Bastos. This name alone reveals a lot about the 23-year-old who has been called up to the national basketball team for five seasons. The athlete, with trisomy 21, wore the Portugal jersey for the first time in 2017/2018, having become a regular presence in the Portuguese team at the time.
The level where he currently trains is not the one corresponding to his age, but Beatriz guarantees that such a situation is not demoralizing. “I am the oldest in the group. I even feel more challenged and I joke a lot with my peers and have a lot of fun,” she assures her.
Basketball came into Beatriz’s life when she was just eight years old, at the time just for fun. She started by “playing at home”, where she “kicked the ball and dribbled”, until her parents “saw that she liked to play” and signed her up to Scalipus Clube de Setúbal.
“I always liked basketball. It plays a very important role in my life. I feel passionate about playing and I feel that it is my future, because it takes me to the country. When I’m playing I give my all. It’s my second home”, says the young woman, while expressing a smile from ear to ear.
After 15 years, the athlete has already represented Portugal “in Italy, where it was a lot of fun and the team was in third place, as well as in Guimarães and Vila Nova de Gaia”. “I love the feeling of winning. It’s good. That’s why in sport I’m competitive”.
Despite guaranteeing that now she feels “comfortable to be summoned”, Beatriz confesses that “the first time I was not expecting anything”. “But I was very happy. I really enjoy representing my country.” This year, “even though there were no phases of games, training always continued”.
Mother is the main ‘culprit’ for the basketball player’s success
Beatriz dedicates her success to her mother. “To my family and friends without me, they probably are, but especially all of them, to my mother, who are encouraged by my family and encouraged by those who are not easy. It always works in context and he insisted that I always worked in school and in sports”.
In addition, “when there are games for the national team”, Beatriz says she loves that her mother is always present. “Go, support me and do a lot for me. It’s very cool.”
It is also with her mother in mind that the young woman wants to continue working to “become a basketball champion”. “I was already runner-up in 3×3 basketball at the Down Syndrome World Championships in 2018, but I want more. It’s a goal I’d really like to achieve. I still haven’t managed to take my team to the podium, but I know I will one day. It’s something that requires a lot of work, but I’m focused.” To this end, he guarantees that he has worked hard.
“I train three days a week. I train on Mondays at Escola Sebastião da Gama, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Then I have training on Wednesdays and Fridays, from 8:00 pm to 9:15 pm at Pavilhão da Aranguez. It is the club that decides where training takes place”.
Weeks at APPACDM are many businesses with daily activities
Also a user of the Portuguese Association of Parents and Friends of the Mentally Disabled Citizen (APPACDM) in Setúbal for several years, the young woman reveals that her day-to-day, outside of training, is “very busy”.
“On Monday mornings we choose materials for the afternoon activity, which includes gardening in the afternoon, while on Tuesday mornings I have a theater group at União Setubalense, which I think is very fun, and we have games that make us happen through the head, mainly through concentration”, he reveals.
On Wednesdays, “there is a group session with all the colleagues in the morning”, with part of the afternoon dedicated to a theater group, with “other conversations strange to the visit”. “The next day, the morning is again at União Setubalense and the afternoon is for gardening. During the day of Friday we do gymnastics. It’s a very complete week.”
In our free time, when we have them, we like to “play futsal, for fun, and to dance, sing and go for a walk with family and friends”. “I start screaming in the room, with the windows open, singing loudly with a microphone”, she confesses.
On weekends, he also takes the opportunity to “watch TV and play games on his tablet or cell phone”, as well as “going outside to play with the dog”. “I am very playful and cheerful. I love playing with animals and with my friends.”
Very Happy Past includes Boccia at Palmela Secondary
Born in Abrantes, a city where he still often goes to visit his family, the athlete, who completes another birthday on the 31st of December, came to Palmela at the age of four.
“Let’s go celebrate Christmas, when my mother’s family does. I really like going there. I connect with everyone and speak often.”
About her childhood, she says that she “was very happy”. “I remember celebrating two years in Spain. Then I came to Algeruz and walked in the Nightingale Nursery”. The 1st cycle was taken at the Escola Básica de Aires, and from the 5th to the 8th grade she moved to the Escola Básica Luísa Todi.
To complete the 9th year, a young man returned to the village of Palmela, where he attended the Basic School 2,3 Hermenegildo Capelo, having completed secondary school at the Secondary School of Palmela. “In all the schools I went to, everything went very well. I passed all the years, never failing, and I completed the 12th grade, ”he explains, visibly always.
While studying, he was also part of the school sport, in which he practiced Boccia. “At Escola Secundária de Palmela, he always took a Boccia team to the regional and national finals. I liked it a lot, but now I don’t practice it anymore”.
What you miss, admit it, is canoeing. “I would love to do it again, as well as wanting to try padel and surfing. I love to play sports”.
Beatriz Bastos at close range
Age: 23 years
Residence: Algeruz, Palmela
The young man who started out as a mere joke, quickly became the home of the young woman who represents the Scalipus Clube de Setúbal as an athlete.