20-21

Giovanni likes to train with his teammates | Sport for All

Giovanni, a happy child again!

Giovanni is an eight-year-old boy, very shy, loves going to school and his favourite subject is mathematics. Thanks to an initiative by the Fondazione Milan and the Fondazione Ebbene, the “Sport for All” project was launched at the “Spazio47!” educational centre in Catania.

Daniele, tutor at the Polo Educativo Spazio47 , tells us that the neighbourhood in which the children live is very complicated: “the older children decide who to play with and when to play football, it is a neighbourhood that is thirsty for football!” he tells us in a low voice.

Every day he sees children and young people growing up on the neighbourhood pitches and adds: “football saves them from the streets, from loneliness and from a social context that is too complicated for them! Among these youngsters is Salvatore, always with a ball in his hand, who feels his time has come: “I used to watch the other kids my age get a new ball, I never played. Only in my imagination – he laughs and blushes – at night, before falling asleep. I imagined the whole game and my goals were always beautiful!”.

The young people in the neighbourhood who take part in the Sport for All project may suffer from behavioural and learning disorders, risking worsening their mild cognitive deficits, or autistic spectrum disorders that manifest themselves in emotional crises during the activity.

Unfortunately, given the context, it is not uncommon to experience strong oppositional attitudes and bullying.

Thanks to the Fondazione Milan project implemented together with the Fondazione Ebbene, the children are in an environment tailored to their needs, followed and accompanied by educators and tutors who support them in their dreams, so that they can write, thanks to the power of sport, a new future, without fear of being discriminated against.

Salvatore says that there is no more beautiful sport than football, because ‘it is only on the pitch that I have discovered that important friendships are born, when we are happy for a great result or sad for a defeat, we are never alone. We share our emotions and I didn’t know it was possible to do it in such a natural way. Salvatore seems to be talking to the ball on the pitch, and in those moments his goals, wishes and dreams are not so difficult to realise.

The discipline of football becomes a point of reference for each of them, where rules and aspirations are put on the field for the most important game, the one of life, where they can win and realise their dreams.

By supporting the Fondazione Milan’s Sport for All project, you can help many children like Salvatore and give them a future full of new emotions!

Support Salvatore and join the team!