A neighborhood is celebrating: Welcome, the historic club that celebrates its 95 years of life

A historic club of the basketball Uruguayan is celebrating. Welcome Today it is 95 years old and in the midst of a sports and social restructuring, one of the most awarded institutions in Uruguay will have a celebration tonight with its people.

From 8:00 p.m. and in the club canteen a dinner will be held that will have a collaboration bonus of $ 600 pesos and that can be purchased at the Welcome Secretariat (Emilio Frugoni 924).

But with the arrival of its 95th anniversary and already looking towards the centenary of the club, several managers and relatives began to investigate a little more about the history of a club that was always forged through effort and sacrifice.

That is why it is worth remembering how a dream of a group of young people and adolescents who saw the “W” born in 1926 after the great socio-sporting emergence of the late 19th and early 20th centuries gave way to a basketball team that made people talk, but also a club that wrote good history.

And the current that emerged in Uruguay as an expression of new universal criteria in the field of recreation, education, health and social coexistence was overwhelming. However, it is not possible to admire the dimension of that scenario without taking into account that the entire aforementioned movement undoubtedly contributed to forging the characteristics of modern Uruguay.

Undoubtedly, the vertiginous expansion of the sport achieved in football or basketball the fervent adherence of the youth and the partiality of entire neighborhoods after the colors of their respective clubs.

Framing in the Uruguayan democracy, sport also had to channel the great passions and ideals of the Uruguayan people, training thousands of athletes, in an unparalleled movement that contributed to the general consolidation of the Republic. Not only in regard to its democratic order but fundamentally in the social and cultural consolidation of our people, even as an international profile that stands out.

The founding of the Welcome Athletic Club does not escape this context, because as Edison García Maggi —its first president and one of the founders— said “Welcome is an entity born from the influx of expensive youthful dreams that far from living in the contemplation of what is already carried out, it is his sacred duty to always move forward, with sacrifice, humility, spirit and firmness ”.

In those determining values ​​that emanate from the practice of sport, those young people of 1926 laid the foundations and ideals of a basketball club that would seek its place locally and would achieve it in a notorious way, with spirit and firmness.

This is today the house where the Welcome Athletic Club was founded in 1926.
This is today the house where the Welcome Athletic Club was founded in 1926.

The founding meeting

Those young people gathered at the corner of Tristán Narvaja (today Emilio. Frugoni) and Durazno, on the night of October 13, 1926 under the light of the streetlight with the idea of ​​establishing a sports entity, did not imagine the dimension of that act .

One of the young men, Héctor Zum Felde, offered to use the garage of his parents’ house, located in Durazno 1882 between Tristán Narvaja and Eduardo Acevedo, and there, meeting unanimously, they decided to found the Welcome Athletic Club.

The entrance to the Uruguayan Federation of BasketBall

A few months after the foundation of the new institution, already in the middle of 1927, it was decided to enter the Uruguayan BasketBall Federation and participate in the Novices Championship.

From that moment, Welcome became a permanent animator of the official tournaments until after much effort in 1940 he obtained the Federal Second Championship, achieving the long-awaited promotion to First.

After three years in first class, in 1943, Welcome returns to Second to rise again in 1947 and reach the pinnacle of Uruguayan basketball in 1953 with the obtaining of the First Federal Championship.

The Welcome team champion of the Federal in 1953.
The Welcome team champion of the Federal in 1953.

After obtaining that title counting on a high quality staff, Welcome becomes the great animator of the decade under the influence of Oscar Moglia, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, winning the 1956 and 1957, 1966 and 1967 Federal Tournaments.

Subsequently, many decades passed so that the old “W” could return to the top of the local plane, but when she did it again it was a sports torrent, backed by stellar teams obtaining the 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 championships.

Today, turning 95, Welcome walks the path of reorganization, pursuing its social development and returning to a position consistent with its lineage, but looking askance at its centenary.

Text: Rubén Martínez.