Basque Pelota

Team

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IBON MARTÍNEZ

14 october 2005, San Sebastián

Forward

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AIMAR MORO RUPÉREZ

15 march 2005, San Sebastián

Forward

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EKAIN MITXELENA

12 september 2003, Hernani

Forward

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AXEL MARTÍN

04 march 2003, Hernani

Defender

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UNAX PAGOLA

10 february 2002, Hernani

Forward

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ASIER TERÁN

15 october 2001, San Sebastián

Forward

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IKER OYARBIDE MARTÍN

10 october 2001, San Sebastián

Forward

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IÑIGO IRIZAR RODRÍGUEZ

12 august 2001, San Sebastián

Forward

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ARITZ SARALEGI CAÑAS

18 july 2001, San Sebastián

Defender

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ARKAITZ PÉREZ AZURMENDI

03 june 2001, San Sebastián

Forward

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ARATZ GUTIÉRREZ LÓPEZ

23 may 2001, San Sebastián

Defender

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IKER UDAKIOLA PASTORIZA

27 october 2000, San Sebastián

Defender

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ONDITZ REKONDO MURUA

11 october 2000, Hernani

Forward

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VARUN GUILLENEA

08 june 2000, San Sebastián

Forward

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IGOR ETXEGIA MEDRANO

24 october 1997, Hernani

Defender

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ENEKO ORMAZABAL MARTÍNEZ

13 march 1997, San Sebastián

Defender

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ANDER ARANDIA MITXELENA

16 january 1997, Hernani

Defender

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IMANOL DE RUEDA

04 january 1997, Doneztebe (Nav)

Defender

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MIKEL MANTEROLA LOYARTE

14 july 1996, Hernani

Forward

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JOSU MONTERO BARRENETXEA

01 july 1996, San Sebastián

Defender

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ANDONI UZKIANO SOLANA

04 may 1996, San Sebastián

Defender

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ENEKO ELIZALDE OJER

05 february 1996, Atarrabia (Nav)

Defender

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HUGO ODRIOZOLA

20 august 1995, San Sebastián

Defender

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XABIER ELEJALDE ARRETXEA

29 april 1987, San Sebastián

Coach

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AITOR BROSA JIMÉNEZ

16 december 1992, San Sebastián

Forward

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JON JUANES IRAGORRI

21 april 1991, Oiartzun

Defender

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JOKIN ARTETXE SAN MARTÍN

08 october 1989, Zestoa

Forward

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GABRIEL SYLVAIN ANDUEZA

11 october 1988, Biriatou (Fr)

Defender

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MIKEL ANTXORDOKI ALMANDOZ

14 august 1986, Igantzi (Nav)

Forward

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MIKEL LÓPEZ MORCILLO

01 november 1983, Deba

Forward

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JULIEN CLAUDE VIGEON

27 december 1981, Saint Laurent De Gosse (Fr)

Defender

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GUILLERMO ANTXORDOKI ALMANDOZ

26 july 1980, Igantzi (Nav)

Defender

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ÍÑIGO NAVARRO CALERO

16 may 1979, San Sebastián

Forward

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ÍÑIGO OIARZABAL AGIRRE

20 january 1978, San Sebastián

Defender

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MIGUEL "MOLOLO" IRIGOYEN ERRAZKIN

10 january 1976, Lesaka (Nav)

Forward

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FREDERIC LAURENT CAPDEVILLE

04 march 1975, Anglet (Fr)

Defender

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PEIO ZAPIAIN ETXEBERRIA

11 october 1974, Hondarribia

Forward

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IMANOL TELLETXEA OTXOTEKO

17 july 1968, Lesaka (Nav)

Defender

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AITOR "TXIKURI" AGIRRE ORBEGOZO

30 january 1968, San Sebastián

Forward

History

Throughout the history of Basque pelota and across the courts of Gipuzkoa which play host to the sport, players representing Real Sociedad have been a constant fixture. Indeed, the club's players have been involved at the openings and events held at our province's most prestigious Basque pelota courts, such as the Frontón Anoeta (renamed as the Atano III), the Galarreta Jai-Alai, the Carmelo Balda, the Frontón de Azpeitia and the courts at Aretxabaleta and Hondarribia, amongst others.

Real Sociedad's Basque pelota team is made up of approximately 20 players across the following modalities: pala (paddle) pala corta (short paddle), paleta cuero (leather paddle) and paleta goma (rubber paddle), whilst not forgetting the paleta cuero en trinquete (leather paddle played on a trinquete court). The club is one of the leading lights in the various championships hosted across Gipuzkoa, within the rest of the Basque Country and the select group of clubs involved in the Spanish Championship.

Season upon season, the Real Sociedad squad provides players for the local and provincial teams in inter-village competitions and at GRAVNI (an amateur championship contested between the federations of Gipuzkoa, La Rioja, Álava, Biscay, Navarre and the French Basque Country) in the various different modalities. The Txuri-urdin DNA means that our competitive and committed athletes defend the club's badge each and every time they take to the court. Each week, competitive games take place at the Atano III, with free access for all spectators.

In an effort to keep this highly attractive native sport, which has such close links to our community, alive, we have launched the Pala Eskola (Paddle School) which is open to children wishing to learn about and enjoy the sport through an introduction in the use of rubber and leather paddles.

Major achievements

Amongst those players who have represented the club, there are several figures whose feats deserve particular recognition:

Jesús Gurruchaga After having claimed several national titles in remote, both as a forward and a defender, Gurruchaga decided to switch specialities, a change which saw him become a world champion in pala larga in Hossegor in 1952 (the only time that this title has been contested); and runner-up in paleta cuero in Pamplona in 1962. During the final years of his career he switched between both instruments and even managed to win two thrilling finals on the same day. His trophy haul also features countless national and provincial titles.

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Lucio Unanue secured the pala corta world title in Montevideo in 1966 and was a runner-up in paleta cuero alongside Gurruchaga, whilst he also claimed a number of provincial and national titles.

Juan Cruz Artola lifted two pala corta World Cup titles, in San Sebastián (1952) and Montevideo (1955), as well as a host of provincial and national trophies.

Jose Eugenio Fernández was a national and provincial champion in pala and pala corta and featured for the national team at the World Cup.

In addition to these leading players, the following figures are also worthy of mention:

In the mano (hand pelota) modality: Ayerbe, Garmendia andUrriolabeitia.

Etxeberria, Balda, Nestor, Okoki and Ramón Ezkurdia.

Macazaga, Nieva, Irastorza, González, Muñoz, Aguirre and Azúa.

In pala and pala corta: Paco Bengoechea, Yurramendi, Torres, Paredes, Anza, Carrasco, Valle andCanellada.

Trinquete: Óscar Herrera and Javier Letamendia, whose achievements in securing the national title saw them called up to the World Cup squad.

Whilst no doubt there are other distinguished players who could be listed, we'll limit ourselves here to the most recent players to have achieved professional status.

Aratz Mendizabal: Zaldibia-born 'Mendizabal I' made his mano debut for ASEGARCE in July 2003 at Aritzbatalde (Zarautz). He claimed two Second Division titles: in doubles and a four and a ½.

Íñigo Navarro: Navarro made his professional debut with EUSKO BASQUE in December 2002 in a fixture played at Club Deportivo de Bilbao's court. His status has currently changed and he has returned to represent Real Sociedad as an amateur player.

Íñigo Oiarzabal: Oiarzabal made his competitve pala bow in January 2009 at the Deportivo de Bilbao court and turned out for INNPALA. Oiarzabal is a regular commentator of pala games for ETB (Basque television).

Sign up to our Pala School!

Are you over 12 and enjoy playing pala? Learn and have fun with the Real Sociedad School. Why not come on down to the Atano III, Balda-Yoldi and Altza courts two or three days a week and enjoy yourself as you learn about our sport in the sessions led by our experienced coaches? To sign up or to request further information, get in touch by writing to rspelota@hotmail.com. Don't miss out on this opportunity and come and enjoy yourself!