Eventi istituzionali

Calcio per Tutte le Abilità Special Olympics has introduced its 'European Football Week'. Gravina: "Delighted to support this wonderful initiative"

Also present at the press conference was DCPS President Carraro: "Football is often contentious, but when it comes to supporting the Paralympic Division, everyone is in agreement"

Friday, May 24, 2024

Special Olympics has introduced its 'European Football Week'. Gravina:

Around 45,000 athletes from 45 different European countries are involved in the 'European Football Week 2024' by Special Olympics, which was presented today in the Paolo Rossi room at the headquarters of the Italian Football Federation in Rome. The theme of the twenty-fourth edition of the event, scheduled to run from 25 May to 2 June, is 'Football for All', an opportunity to promote, through sport, a culture of inclusion that fosters understanding and appreciation of diversity in all its forms.

Endorsed by the FIGC, Serie A, and Serie B Leagues, and supported by UEFA, the 'European Football Week' relies not only on the participation of various Special Olympics teams, a global organisation involving approximately 6 million athletes, both with and without intellectual disabilities, across over 200 countries but also on the involvement of students from schools of all levels.

On 10 February 2023, FIGC and Special Olympics signed a memorandum of understanding, with the aim of promoting and enhancing opportunities related to football practice for athletes with intellectual disabilities. These themes were reiterated in his speech by FIGC President Gabriele Gravina: "We are delighted that the appointment with Special Olympics' European Football Week is an annual event, as a seal of support and collaboration between the Federation and this wonderful organisation. I cannot overstate how Special Olympics has contributed in Italy to the creation of significant social and sporting opportunities for people with disabilities."

"The FIGC," Gravina continued, "has also supported the Paralympic and Experimental Football Division, which is experiencing steady and significant growth. Just a few days ago, the National Final of the DCPS for the 2023/24 season took place, an event that was hugely successful. The Paralympic football movement generates infectious enthusiasm, which continues to grow stronger day by day".

"In 1981," recounted Franco Carraro, President of DPCS, "I realised that, for people living with disabilities, sport is the cornerstone for improving their lives. I thank the entire Division of FIGC for the work done in this regard. I must say that the football world is often very contentious, but when it comes to supporting Paralympic football, everyone is in agreement, at every level".

Also present at the conference were Marco Brunelli (General Secretary of FIGC), Giovanni Sacripante (National Manager of the Paralympic and Experimental Football Division), Benedetta Geronzi (Head of Institutional Initiatives, Social Responsibility, and Special Projects at FIGC, and member of the board of Special Olympics Italy), and Alessandro Palazzotti, founder and Vice President Vicario of Special Olympics Italy.

Then came the moment of handing over the team photo to President Gravina by the Italian delegation of 'Unified 5-a-side Football', winners of the gold medal at the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin in 2023. Athletes Antonello Carnassale, Alessandro Gabrielli, Giovanni Rufo, Marco Sorrentino, Leonardo Vellucci, Riccardo Racis, along with coaches Andrea Siddi and Massimo Micci, presented the frame on behalf of the team, echoing the achievements of the Italian National Team at the 2006 World Championships.

Finally, several Special Olympics athletes took the stage, captivating the audience by sharing how wonderful it is to be part of a world that supports and involves them in activities that are so important to them. In conclusion, alongside President Gravina, the Special Olympics delegation proclaimed their oath, which reads: "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt".


Eventi e Iniziative Istituzionali

Presentata in FIGC la 24ª edizione della Special Olympics Football Week