Manel Domènech, swimmer and historian of swimming

This was the era of social clubs, everyone belonged to clubs, because of course people had few home comforts, so social clubs were very importantYou joined the club because a relative or a schoolfriend would say: ‘Why don’t you come along? We’re all going.’ But once you joined the club everything changed it instantly became your second home; there you had everything, menfriends, womenfriends, everything!”

When we started coming to the club people were really idealistic, they fought hard to get people to do sport.  They'd go out and find youngsters and bring them along; it was like a school, sport was like a school for life."

Sonia Montes, gym user and bodybuilder

In other clubs everyone does their own thing, but here it’s “Hey John how are you?  Hi Jim, how’s your mother?  Is your father still working?”  There’s an interest in other people and their families, people ask after your family.  It’s a village.

I can see myself coming here in the mornings to sunbathe, taking the odd class, and I imagine my daughter coming here and taking classes, and if I know my grandchildren, I hope they come to the club too!

Conxita García, gym user

"A lot of people who know me, I¹ve been coming here for nine and a half years now, they say to me "how you've changed! You used to be so reserved. I'd do my thing, wouldn't talk to anyone, then bit by bit you start coming out of your shell, don't you? You have to adapt or die, one or the other."

“It’s a chain, what goes up comes down, a wheel.  We’re born and day by day we get older. Live! Live, live, live, live.”

Joan Sagarra, retired

This spot, especially in the mornings, is our home, us pensioners. Undressed, telling jokes, talking nonsense, it's the best time of your life, you don't get hung up about anyone, you say all the silly things you want.  This is how it is for us, the morning club.  Later on the atmosphere changes radically, we old folk go home for a hot dinner and the working crowd turn up.

No one, man or woman, likes getting old, no one.  It’s nature’s law but no one likes it, they tell me, Oh I’m so happy to get old. Bullshit!  What happens is that you try, we all do, men and women, to get old maintaining ourselves the best we can.”

The club's a succulent piece of meat, and tender, with a sauce to suit all tastes - spicy, mild, bland, savoury.  It's this that forms the essence of the club. Sure,  it's invisible, but its palpable, you can taste it.”

Marco Pascuita, gym user

Its a very social situation, there’s always someone whose face at the very least you recognize even if you don't know them.  Sometimes it can be a bit cruisy as well, depending on who’s around. There’re quite a lot of gay boys that come here as well, which is nice. You kinda make eye contact, and you know there’s some kind of interest there...then again later in the shower you might make eye contact again and that’s a little bit more charged.  But then thats boys isn't it.”

Maria Borrella (13), swimmer

One day I read on the computer that the best swimmer in the world got used to feeling like a fish, a whole part of his life was spent in the water, training; I want to feel like a fish too, so I do everything I can to feel like a fish in the water, as if one whole part of my life was connected with water

My objectives this year are to be champion of Spain and, on an international level, my big dream is to be an olympic swimmer.  The olympics will be in 2012 and I’ll be 17 which would be the right age to go, I’d like to go at that age.”

“Most people don’t make if because they’d rather go to a disco, have a night out, or do something else.  If I had a boyfriend who didn’t like what I’m doing, didn’t accept that I have to train, well I’d leave him, because he has to respect what I want and if he doesn’t like me swimming and training, he should put up with it.”

Petar Trbojevic, waterpolo player

“It starts as a hobby but then when you start high school you have to put in loads more hours than you do when you’re 8-years-old and it becomes clear that you have to choose.”

“It’s much easier being there playing, than watching, we’re not used to that, it’s something I have to prepare myself for, for when my career finishes.  When you’re 20 you’re thinking about certain things, when you’re 30, it’s others and now I’m thinking about family, about simple things, I want to be a good father, a good husband, simple things in life.”

directora: ROSE KOWALSKI productora: MADELEINE SHEAHAN directora de foto: ANNA MOLINS muntadora: JUDITH MIRALLES
productor executiu: CARLES BRUGUERAS
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