They will take place at the Saini Center and will see the participation of more than 400 young people of 55 nationalities from all over the world. Focus on sustainability with Food Wave. Advisor Riva: “A unique opportunity to meet and exchange for boys and girls and for a university and international city like ours”…

Milano – From Friday April 22 to Sunday April 24, the Saini Center in Milan will host the National Erasmus Games (NEG), the collective sporting event promoted by Erasmus Student Network Italy (ESN Italy), created to enhance sport as a universal language and tool to improve lifestyles.

The nomination was presented this morning at the Palazzo Marino by the adviser for sports, tourism and youth policies Martina Riva, together with Alessio Burlon, national representative of ESN Italy, Massimiliano Marziale, head of the NEG organizing committee and responsible for the ESN Italy event and Virginia Pignata, activist of Food Wave, a project of the Municipality of Milan.

During the three days of the event, study mobility students with the Erasmus program, coming from the north to the south of Italy and accompanied by local students, will meet to participate in real national Olympic Games. More than 400 students – more than 50 nationalities – will have the opportunity to compete in different sports representing the ESN section to which they belong during their exchange period in Italy. The sports in competition are: mixed basketball (5×5), mixed football (5×5), mixed volleyball (5×5), 100 meters men and women and 1500 meters men and women.
The athletes selected at Italian level will then be able to participate in the International Erasmus Games (IEG), a pan-European initiative for health and well-being promoted by the student network, which will be held this year from May 12 to 15. in Portugal, in Coimbra.

This year’s edition will be carried out in collaboration and thanks to the support of the Municipality of Milan, within the framework of the Food Wave project, funded by the European Union, carried out with 30 international partners and led by the Municipality of Milan, with the aim to promote physical well-being, but also respect for nature, the fight against climate change and environmental sustainability. Activities in support of sports competitions will aim to promote the themes of the project to participants, spectators and organizers of the event, starting with the relationship between food and climate change and youth activism.

“For Milan it is a real pleasure to host the ‘Erasmus Olympics’ at the Saini Center – said Councilor Riva -. Ours is a university city, with an international soul, passionate about sports and at the forefront of promoting healthy lifestyles, also in terms of food and environmental sustainability. By recalling these aspects, thanks also to the initiatives implemented in collaboration with Food Wave, the National Erasmus Games will be able to recall with the freshness and authenticity of hundreds of students from all over the world how much sport knows how to bring people together, create privileged relationships and lasting and spreading universal values, starting with respect for others. For this reason, I am sure that the NEG will be a unique opportunity to meet and exchange, both for the Erasmus students in Italy who will participate and for the city”.

The first qualifying phase will start on Friday, April 22, at 2:00 p.m., at the Saini Center (via Arcangelo Corelli, 136) and will continue throughout the day. The second qualifying phase and the finals will be played on Saturday April 23, from 9:30 a.m.; the awards ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will end on the morning of Sunday, April 24. During the three days there will be moments of interaction and exchange, with the social program dedicated to sustainability.


The event will involve 402 young people, including 171 girls and 231 boys who will be divided into:
• 14 futsal teams;
• 17 volleyball teams;
• 11 basketball teams;
• 58 participants in athletics competitions.

There are 83 Italian participants in total, the rest of the youngsters come from four continents:
• 87% Europe (348):
• 6% Asia (25);
• 1% Africa (4);
• 6% America (25).

Below is the list of countries of origin:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary , India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia , Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United States and Zimbabwe.


Food Wave is a project funded by the European Commission, which aims to create a new alliance between mayors and young people for a green, inclusive and sustainable future of cities. It is developed by the Municipality of Milan, Department of International Relations of the Mayor’s Office, in collaboration with 16 international cities and 13 civil society organizations.

The project focuses in particular on the importance of sustainable food systems at the urban level and the adoption of responsible lifestyles and practices by boys and girls for climate change mitigation.
Food Wave aims to inform and involve 15 million young people aged 15 to 35 through a web platform and an international digital campaign, training and contributions to young people, supported by an international network of Ambassadors and influencers. The project also foresees the implementation of specific research and studies on food and climate change and the active participation of young people through online and offline activities, including urban games, schools of activism, discussion forums, international exchanges, art competitions and film festivals.


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