Nicolas (left) and Jon Uriarte, son and father, both love the game of volleyball
Wroclaw, Poland, September 6, 2014 - The match between Argentina and Australia in Wroclaw is being called the battle between the son and the father as Nicolas Uriarte, the setter of the Latin American team, and Jon Uriarte, the coach of Volleyroos, met each other again from opposite sides.
It is the second time the two representatives of Uriarte family meet in the same pool of a major tournament, as it happened also during the London Olympic Games.
Both men feel really happy about it and seem to enjoy the situation.
“One the one hand it may looks strange, but we are trying to concentrate like it is a normal match. I wish my dad the best and I am really glad to be able to share with him a tournament like this,” Nicolas says.
His father Jon commented: “It is a part of our jobs, but it is also a huge joy of life – being at this kind of celebration where we can express ourselves.”
Nicolas and Jon belong to an unofficial group named ‘the great father’s club’, which gathers the present players and their fathers, the former representatives of Argentina. The other members of the club are Facundo Conte and his father Hugo.
The father’s sport life had a significant influence of Nico’s future life.
“I was very young and I liked going to his practices and watching his games. When I was very little I was doing some sport and I learned a lot from watching him playing. I think he taught me a lot,” the young Uriarte said.
The senior Uriarte recalled the beginnings of his son’s adventure with volleyball.
“When Nico was two-years-old we played with a balloon. We used to sit in our living room, take chairs as a net and just have some fun,” he said.
Jon was a coach when Nicolas went to the sport school and after a couple of years the son came to the father with a decision about his future.
“I came to my dad one day and told him that I wanted to start playing volleyball. Then, there wasn’t a group of my age, so he founded the mini-volleyball school,” the younger Uriarte said.
“Unfortunately we didn't have a mini-volleyball section in our project, so I created one. I asked my friends and found out that there were also three other boys with a wish similar to Nico’s. The dreams came true and the group made progress very quickly. They played beautiful volleyball and I enjoyed it a lot at the time,” Jon added.
The father and son are very close with each other and despite their busy life, they stay in touch all the time.
“On the first day we arrived to Wroclaw, he came to the hotel, but we haven’t met. In Poland we just crossed each other because of our work, but we talk almost every day. We joked a little, but have never talked seriously about the Argentina and Australia match. We are talking about many other things, but not about that,” Nicolas said.
Asked about the communication with his son Jon said: “We talk often about everything, about volleyball as well. It’s natural that we share thoughts about it because it is part of our lives.”
Written by Elzbieta Poznar, Young Writer Programme