FOLLONICA – The 22nd edition ofAnnual Aces Europe Awards Ceremonywhich awards prizes to European sports cities and communities.
The ceremony (which moved, due to problems linked to the pandemic, from the usual “De Gasperi” room of the European Parliament in Brussels, inside the Saint-Hubert chapel of the Piedmontese Palace), took is opened by a minute of silence, in memory of the victims of the conflict in Ukraine and the great exodus of refugees. Immediately afterwards, the anthem of the European Capital of Sport opened the ceremony to hand over the flag to the Piedmont Region for the title of Ace of the European Sports Region 2022 and, subsequently, the 54 flags were awarded, of The Hague (Holland) European Capital of Sport 2022 and Madrid World Capital of Sport 2022, as well as the cities of Guachené (Colombia), Indaial and Santo André (Brazil) and Konya (Turkey) World Capital of Sport 2023.
The ceremony took place, in addition to the President of Aces Europe, Gian Francesco Lupattelli and to the President of the Piedmont Region, Alberto Cirio, MEP Tomasz Frankowski (Member of the Education and Culture Commission of the EU), Angela Melo (Director of Social Policies of Unesco) and the Sports Councilor of the Piedmont Region, Fabrice Ricca. Ahead of the award ceremony, video messages from the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth were also shown, Marie-Gabriel, of the Minister for Youth Policy Fabiana Dadone, of the President of Coni Giovanni Malago and the President of Sport and Health Vito Cozzoli.
All the interventions had a common thread, underlining the great value of sport for the inclusion and health of every citizen and not just for the great athlete. A sense of healthy competition, brotherhood and peace, even more important in this delicate historical moment that brings the war in Ukraine to the fore.
During the ceremony, the official plaque of the European Sports Community 2023 was also presented to the Maremma Toscana Area Nord, for which they were present, representing the entire region, Alessandro Ricciuti (Advisor for Tourism of the Municipality of Follonica,), Suzanne Lorenzini (Tourism Councilor of the Municipality of Castiglione della Pescaia), Irene Marconi (Councillor for Tourism of the Municipality of Massa Marittima) e Stefano Ridi (Coordinator of the Application and Sports Tourism of the Region).
“The task of sport is also to promote the values of fraternity, equality and solidarity – said Alessandro Ricciuti, Councilor of the Municipality of Follonica, head of the sector – and we thank As Europe because our candidacy offers us the stimulus to develop , together with partners such as Coni, Cip and the University of Pisa, an ambitious, healthy and inclusive project with sport at the center “.
“This project unites us with the Etruscan Coast area, it has received recognition from the European Sports Community for the current year, and for this we have signed a letter of intent together, functional to the formalization of a memorandum of understanding to develop activities between athletes belonging to Coni and the Italian Paralympic Committee, also through approaches to sport, training camps and amateur and competitive events”.
“At this particular time, receiving this recognition means having a great potential for tourist attraction around sport and the community that increasingly practices activity aimed at physical well-being and sharing, and also sharing different values of cohesion between communities and peace.In this sense – concludes Ricciuti – we assume the Castagneto Carducci – Follonica marathon of 42 km, open to all, in a line that unites the two main municipalities of their respective tourist areas, which run together to pass on the baton of the Sports Community”.
At the end of the ceremony, the photo, together, between the Etruscan Coast and the Maremma Tuscany North Region, to seal the partnership undertaken.