International Pitch and Putt returns in Andorra - Xavier Feliubadaló
Although Andorra suffered a number of coronavirus deaths, the situation is now stable. "Here in Andorra everything is under control," says Xavier Feliubadaló of the Associacio Andorrana de Pitch and Putt. "All of the population has been tested twice for Covid-19 and there are no new cases."
fippa.org spoke to Xavier at the beginning of June and he offered this positive news. "This week we have started Pitch and Putt competitions with an extraordinary ranking competition. On 14th June we will hold the pairs championship and the annual Andorra ranking. Throughout all this, we will be following a strict health protocol and exercising the utmost caution."
Andorra was eagerly anticipating the hosting of the Five Nations International but with restrictions on travel caused by the global pandemic, they have opted to defer."We have decided to celebrate the five nations tournament but we will postpone the competition until the month of August, on 21st, 22nd and 23rd. It was postponed to allow time for all the associations and federations to decide whether or not to participate. It's a tournament with only a few players and we must make sure that we have as many teams as possible," explains Xavier.
However, the Andorra Pairs tournament (scheduled for July 18/19) has been added to the FIPPA Calendar. Xavier explains. "For 2020, The AAPP had already planned to hold those championships that we hold every year in Andorra. What we did was put it all in quarantine! We also want to highlight this magnificent tournament for couples, which is played in its third edition with a great success of participants." This event (which will be defended by Pau Perez and Gonzalo Mendoza) will be the first International Pitch and Putt tournament of the pandemic-interrupted 2020 season, which Xavier is very pleased about."The III Pairs will be sponsored by the Art i Construcciones de Andorra company that promotes our favourite sport."
Xavier played for Andorra in the 2018 and 2019 Five-Nations international matches but is non-committal about his involvement this year. "We have not yet selected our team," says the man who acted as Designated Adviser to the Andorra 2018 European Team championship sextet at Tambre. Undoubtedly, Xavier will be practsing assidiuously. "I usually play Pitch and Putt everyday, although during these recent months it has not been possible. I am looking forward to start again in the following days."
Asked to assess Andorra's chances, Xavier has this to say of the country that was fourth a year ago, having reached the 2011 and 2018 semi-finals. "As always, Andorra aspires to win the tournament, but the other teams will also."
Xavier does an excellent job every year in administering the Andorra Pairs and other events in Andorra and clearly enjoys that role."Thank you very much for your comments. It's a pleasure to organize these events and we love working hard to welcome other teams to our country. I enjoy Pitch and Putt and helping the association. We have a team that works for Pitch and Putt in Andorra and to expand our sport to the maximum number of people."
Andorra will witness a glut of international Pitch and Putt activity this year with the international open billed for its traditional Seoptember slot."Another successful tournament is the Andorra Open, which each year has more participation from national and international players," beams Xavier. "This tournament has the annual sponsorship of Crèdit Andorrà, the Andorran bank that continues to bet on Pitch & Putt as a national and international sport."
And Xavier Feliubadaló will be there in his dual playing and administration roles! "Indeed I will!! I will continue working for Pitch and Putt while I am able to, and for the international tournaments."