Home  WHAT TO SEE  Elvira Larrazabal – A sporting route around Getxo

Photograph on loan from Getxoko Liburutegiak - Getxo Municipal Libraries

Getxo has always had very close ties with the world of sport, being one of the first places nationwide to hold football matches, given the enthusiasm for all things British among the local upper-middle classes that spent their summers here. Since those days, sport has been increasingly popular in the area, and Getxo was named European City of Sport in 2014.

This route, designed to be followed either on foot or by bike, introduces us to Getxo’s sports facilities via the Bidegorriak network of cycle lanes and riverside paths, making a stop on the former site of the golf club, Real Sociedad de Golf de Neguri (where Elvira first held her golf-sticks), and then takes us into the Bolue wetlands.

This route celebrates Elvira Larrazabal not only as an élite sports personality, but also as an example for all the sportswomen in Getxo that are battling to receive the recognition they deserve in surfing, sailing, cycling, racket sports, handball, beach volleyball, karate, athletics, rugby and hockey... to name just a few of the sports with current and future champions.


Elvira Larrazabal Bengoetxea was Spanish golf’s first female professional player, and in 1958 she became the first woman to receive an instructor’s licence from the Spanish Federation. She began playing at the Real Sociedad de Golf de Neguri where her father, Angelín, was an instructor.

According to her husband, the international football referee José Mª Ortiz de Mendibil: “Elvira’s the star in this house. Between 1952 and 1955 she won every single competition she took part in, including four Spanish Championships and two Spanish Opens.” After a few years away from the game, which she dedicated to caring for her family, Elvira returned to the greens as a sign of her love for her favourite sport.

In 2011, Getxo Town Hall paid tribute to her sporting career at the Sasoi Sasoian-Ports Awards, honouring her with a silver replica of the Aixerrota windmill.

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