Sport and Health, interview with Vito Cozzoli

President Cozzoli, “Sport e Salute” is just over three years old. It was born out of Parliament’s strong choice for the State to make a concrete commitment to public policies for the promotion of sport and correct lifestyles, given also that when sport and health were born, the ‘Italy was the fifth most sedentary country in Italy.’Europe. In short, you are much more than the ‘sure’ of Italian sport…
The chest contains something that sits there, motionless. I like to say that our strategic role is to invest in health for the good of citizens through sport. We are dynamic, we look to the future, we try to anticipate choices. Over the past three years, Sport e Salute SpA has allocated 1.2 billion euros in the form of contributions to sports organizations and 1.1 billion euros in the form of refreshments for sports collaborators halted by the pandemic. To these were added refreshments and contributions to the state sports system and the Sports Department of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. In March, the government invested new resources, intended in particular for the energy emergency. In 2022, calls for public and school sports equipment from the PNRR and Sport and suburbs were promoted, for a total of 1.2 billion euros. Never have so many resources been invested in sport. And today, sport is an integral part of our national system. On March 2, the Senate’s Constitutional Affairs Committee mandated the rapporteur to submit a favorable report to the Assembly on the text amending art. 33 of the Constitution by adding the following last paragraph: “The Republic recognizes the educational, social and rewarding value of the psychophysical well-being of sporting activity in all its forms”. I believe this is proof that the legislator’s choice to reform the public sports model with the introduction of Sport and Health was far-sighted.

You often say that “Sport and Health” has an industrial soul and a social soul, with at the center a word that is close to your heart: inclusion.
The two souls of the company work together to be able to make positive changes in people’s lives. Including means “leaving no one behind”, this is where our souls merge. Inclusion is at the heart of Sport and Health actions to involve populations who have difficulty accessing sport. Think of the NEETs, young people between the ages of 15 and 34 who neither study nor work, today they are estimated at around three million. Sport and Health, in collaboration with the Department of Youth Policies, is preparing a project that combines sports activity and training. In this scenario, in fact, sports activity can represent a lifeline for finding stimuli and opportunities for aggregation.

How have you supported the world of sport during the most acute phases of the Covid-19 pandemic? Under what conditions did the Italian sports world emerge from this “horribilis” period?
The Covid-19 pandemic represented a test bed for Sport and Health, which found itself managing a world that had remained submerged until then: that of sports collaborators, those who make sports activities on the ground possible, every day. We have disbursed more than a billion euros to support the world of sport. Thanks to the census work, we can today give weight to the world of sports collaborators, which numbers around 197,000 people. Activity resumes in a new way compared to before Covid-19: during the pandemic many people chose outdoor sports and today they continue this habit. This should lead the sporting world to think about how to intercept this new demand for sport.

He signed, together with the Minister Patrizio Bianchi and in the presence of the Minister of the South and Territorial Cohesion, Mara Carfagna, the protocol between the Ministry of Education and Sports and Health on the National Recovery and resilience (PNRR). In terms of restarting the country, both socially and economically, what is and what will be the contribution of ‘Sport and Health’ also in the light of this protocol?
The protocol is another important step towards the Sport and Health function as a support, support and infrastructure tool for Italian sport. The Sport and Health Business Plan 2022-26 is developed with an evidence-based approach, through analysis and research, starting from the photograph of the sport system and the needs of the country and developing actions and increasingly tailored interventions for immediate intervention and innovation. long-term. It is not only a question of economic resources: it is a question of giving sport the possibility of being a tool for social and economic development.
Back to inclusion. ‘Sport e Salute’ has recently promoted numerous projects across Italy to promote sports inclusion, from that of people with disabilities to that of disadvantaged areas and neighborhoods, to the investment of 17 million for sport in schools, involving one and a half million children and tens of thousands of classrooms. What initial assessment can we make of these initiatives?
Beyond all expectation, our essence tells us, which is represented by the territory. The first assessment is given by the figures, those of the “Scuola Attiva Kids” project, 30 federations involved against 6 in the past with a fivefold effect on the promotion of sport in various disciplines. 1,270,000 students, or 60% of the total of primary school students in Italy, 63,350 classes from 1st to 5th grade and 3,100 qualified motor science tutors who, in the new project, carry out 26 weeks of activity for each class plus 15 hours of transversal activity. These are unprecedented numbers. And we will continue to finance even more projects, both those aimed at vulnerable groups and those concerning disadvantaged neighborhoods and urban parks: we have the institutions at our side, because we are interpreters of needs. The road has been traced, it must be traveled.

In some of your statements, you spoke of “Sport and Health” as a “Sports Industry” made up of multiple sources of support: the public, the private sector, the enlargement of the number of members, the promotion of the company’s real estate assets, such as the Foro Italico park. Can you go into the details of this project-objective?

The Minister of Youth Policies, Fabiana Dadone, has allocated a contribution of 80 million euros to sport and health for the realization of a project for the recovery and enhancement of the Foro Italico park, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Rome, the capital of Italy and in view of the Olympic Games of 2026. The Foro Italico park represents the best of the idea of ​​”the sports industry”. This is where the first Italian startup accelerator for sport and health was born, Westportup, in collaboration with CDP Venture Capital SGR-Fondo Nazionale Innovazione. New ideas driven by technology at the service of sport and athletes in a place that remains the cradle of our history, to combine sport and culture with the development of new technologies.

Can you tell us about the ‘my sport e salute’ app? What is its importance ?
Whether it’s systems or digital, we meet challenges with a single denominator: the person, always at the center of our choices. Mysportesalute is a tool to connect citizens to their sporting passions. Our goal is to stimulate sports passion, to get people off the sofa, to do physical activity at home, on the street, in the gym, in the swimming pool or on the sports field, in the park, individually or in groups, competitively or not. To pursue the goal entrusted to us by the state, which is to make our country and our citizens more active and healthier, technology is essential, because it allows us to reach people directly and to accompany them on a sporting journey that we both want. for all and for a lifetime.

Add Comment