A Life in Sport: Meet Chelo De Castro C., the oldest active journalist in Colombia
Chelo De Castro C. is the winner of AIPS Sport Media Awards ’A life in sport’. File photo/AIPS.
LAUSANNE, March 23, 2021 - José Víctor De Castro Carroll - better known as Chelo De Castro C., turned 101 years old on March 19, on San Joseph’s day, which led to his name. He was on March 22, honoured with the prestigious A Life in Sport Award at the AIPS Sport Media Awards in recognition of an incredible sports journalism career spanning 76 years and counting.
From Barranquilla, Chelo De Castro, joined the virtual ceremony alongside his family members. “Journalism needs persistence,” he said in a recorded video.
*He is the oldest active journalist in Colombia - and maybe the world, publishing his sports columns in El Heraldo, the newspaper with the longest tradition in the Colombian Caribbean.
Don Chelo began his journalism career, writing for the weekly publication La Unidad, in 1945. He always wrote opinion columns that, shortly after, became daily editorials, from Monday to Friday, in the now-defunct Barranquilla newspapers La Prensa, El Nacional, Diario del Caribe. He has been in El Heraldo for 44 years.
Born in Barranquilla, where he has lived all his life, Don Chelo joined the Barranquilla Sports Press Association (Acord) - the first sports journalists’ entity created in the country - a few weeks after its creation, in September 1946. And in March 1948, also in Barranquilla, he was one of those who attended the initial meeting that gave birth to Acord Colombia, an entity of which he is today an emeritus member.
But Don Chelo has not only been writing journalistic publications for 76 years, he has also been doing his radio programme, Desfile Deportivo for almost 68 years, which is currently broadcast on Radio Tropical, from 9:00 to 9:30 in the morning. He founded that programme on April 7, on Barranquilla Day, 1953, with his late friend, Mike Schmuson, in La Voz de la Patria, where he did it for 40 years.
Don Chelo has not written his column for four years now because of vision problems, but he dictates it to his grandson, Chelito De Castro. Now, instead of daily, it goes out two or three times a week.
Due to the pandemic, he has remained at his home in northern Barranquilla with his wife, Judith Vásquez. He has not gone out for almost a year and it hurts him not to go, from Monday to Friday, to the radio station to broadcast the sports news - which he always ends with a comment.
Read More than a centennial of history in sports journalism: Don Chelo