“With sport we redeem Calabria!”

Calabria is again the protagonist of an international volleyball event. How important is it that the region becomes the scene of sporting events of this magnitude?

To say that Sport is one of the main vectors of positive messages and virtuous role models is pleonastic. Calabria must redeem an image degraded over the decades by so many clichés and by certain behaviors that no longer belong to us. To do this, he undoubtedly needs different tools; Sports is one. Each public showcase, each stage, is thus transformed into positive stages in the ascent towards the social redemption of our Region. An event of international importance such as the Qualifications for the European Women’s Volleyball Championship (CEV U19) can only contribute, together with the other opportunities that will exist, to bring Calabria beyond its geographical and media borders. So, to answer the question categorically, I say: IT IS FUNDAMENTAL.

Sport is a living ”gym” for children. Do you think that the young athletes who are the protagonists of this event can become a source of inspiration?

Sure. The best role models for boys are the boys themselves, the young ones. Just to give an example, although unrelated to sports, I recently met a 14 year old student from Calabria, Karol, who has become a testimonial for all children with autism. His language, his behavior are more easily imitated by his peers. Thus, the message is more direct. Same for Sports. Players from national under-19 teams will no doubt be a source of inspiration, but for everyone, not just their age group. Playing sports is fundamental, for the body and for the mind, at any age. Doing it at a competitive level certainly gives different stimuli and emotions. Thus seeing live, knowing professionals face to face can only arouse feelings of imitation, competition and therefore the desire to get involved in raising the level of personal commitment in the less adult.

Speaking of commitment, the Calabria Region is actively committed to promoting sport in the region at 360°, but let’s not forget that it is families, above all, who must understand and therefore bring children closer to sports centers. Do you think such events also play a role in raising awareness among older people?

Indirectly, I already answered this question a short time ago. The beauty of sport is that it has no age. It may be an adult who arouses sporting aspirations in young people or vice versa. Then yes ! I believe that important events, events of national and international scope, can only do well, bringing everyone closer to physical and sporting activities. And after what we have experienced during the pandemic, sport takes on an even more essential role, to counter psychological or nutritional disorders and break social isolation. Sport is a vector of sociality, but above all it promotes solidarity in diversity, character, ethnic, social. And yet it also becomes fundamental to strengthen the character, to temper the spirit, to educate in the rules. It is no coincidence that it is often associated with legality and respect for others.

Sport understood as culture, as an engine of social development. What role does the Calabria region play in this context and how does it actively support sports clubs?

As a regional council, we have only been in place for a few months, yet we have entered into various discussions with federations, committees and associations. For example, we have already interfaced with the main Calabrian sports organizations: CONI, CIP, Sport and Health. We are a council based on listening, dialogue, true and open confrontation. We are working on medium and long-term planning, so that in the 5 years of our Legislature, Sport becomes central in the strategies of inclusion and enhancement of the person. Of course, we will support sports clubs directly and indirectly, through tenders and investments in facility engineering. In recent days, for example, a significant allocation has been made within the framework of the PNRR, a call for tenders dedicated to municipalities and which concerns infrastructure, which expires in April. Consequently, I also take this opportunity to stimulate the Administrations to express their interest, to follow the public announcements and to seize all the development opportunities. Sport teaches that teamwork is essential. Well, the same must be done by the local institutions, starting from the Region, passing through the Provinces and Municipalities, arriving at all the organisms and organizations. We must work in synergy to produce the best and change this land. As the slogan of a well-known sports brand says, “NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE”, not even changing Calabria. I believe him.

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