Sports and disability: the call by Fondazione Vodafone

Benefits, under a physical, psychological and relational perspective, of playing sports even for people with a disability have been known since a long time. We’ve talked many times about how also who has a severe disability can play sport, even at competitive level, as the outcomes of Paralympic athletes show. That’s the scenario where the new initiative by Fondazione Vodafone Italia inserts itself, aiming to promote the meeting among sports and disability.

sports and disability

The Foundation has just launched a “call for ideas” with the goal, as we can read on its official website, to identify ideas and projects which promote a cultural shift and concretely and effectively support the spread of sports among people with physical, sensory and cognitive-relational disabilities in Italy.  

which ideas and projects?

The call by Fondazione Vodafone about sports and disability is addressed to large-scale, national projects, promoting sport inclusion, through innovation and/or actions able to involve people with disability, their families, trainers, volunteers, etc. But also “smaller”, local projects, such as starting a new sport project addressed to disabled people inside an association, improving the accessibility of plants and structures, etc. For instance:

  • diffusion of sport culture among people with disability and their families, to promote their approach to sports;
  • diffusion of inclusion programmes through sports in schools and meeting places for young people;
  • training programmes for qualified staff (physiotherapists, technicians, trainers, coaches), to guide, follow and start the sport practice among people with disability;
  • playing sports with innovative and effective service and intervention models;
  • access to subsidies and equipment for practicing paralympic sports also through processes of materials regeneration and recycling;
  • developing new models, goods or serviceswhich lower the cost of actions, initiatives, interventions aiming to promote inclusion of disabled people through sports;
  • designing and producing innovative aids to promote sports practice from disabled people.

sports and disability - wheelchair basketball

who can participate?

The call about sports and disability is addressed to non-profit institutions and associations, operating all over Italy, preferably with a background in activities of inclusion and Paralympic sports.  The proponents must have their legal or operational residence in Italy and the project must impact on the national territory.

how to participate?

To participate in the call about sports and disability, you must read the guidelines available on the Foundation website and fill in by January 31st 2017 the registration form, filling and attaching, when needed:

sports and disability - paralympic games

The selected ideas will share the 1,6 million € contribution offered by Fondazione Vodafone Italia, splitted as follows:

  • 1,2 million € in total for Big Projects;
  • 400 thousand € in total to co-fund Local Projects, provided that each of them collects at least 50% of its financial needs through crowdfunding, carried out under the supervision and with the support, the tools and the brokerage of technological companions made available for free by Fondazione Vodafone.

Are you ready to participate?


Rio 2016 Paralympic games: an analysis

Rio de Janeiro’s Paralympic Games, the 15th in the history of this event, have just ended and it’s time for an analysis.

Moved to Brazil with more than 100 athletes, the Italian team comes back home with very gratifying outcomes: 39 gained medals (10 gold medals, 14 silver medals and 15 bronze medals) that, for the first time in the last 20 years, allowed Italy to enter the final top 10.

An outstanding outcome, resulted from the commitment, the talent and the moxie of extraordinary athletes, who kept thousands of Italian people stuck in front of TV and computer screens, won over both by the sport achievements and the irresistible human touch of people such as Bebe Vio, Alex Zanardi, Federico Morlacchi, Martina Caironi, Alvise De Vidi, Assunta Legnante, etc. Many men and women, each one with his (or her) personal and sport story, who gained, day by day, an increasing space on traditional and new media, too.

The attention paid to the event by TV, newspapers and web is one of the most positive outcomes of this edition of Paralympic Games. RAI ensured an excellent coverage to the whole event, using both RAI2 and RaiSport (both channels are visible for free), plus its web streaming service, to give room not just to the achievements of Italian athletes, but also to the most important matches of sports where no Italian athlete was involved. “Gazzetta dello Sport”, the most important sport newspaper in Italy,  reserved an entire section of its very visited website to the Paralympic athletes’ achievements, exalting their outcomes, not only under a sport perspective.

But, besides the space reserved to Rio Paralympic Games, in my opinion, the most relevant aspect is the tone of voice used to narrate them: no lamenting tones, no obsessive focus on the athletes’ specific disabilities. Above all, the focus was on their sport achievements, giving prominence to their personality. I’ll never forget Bebe Vio screaming soon after having won, at her very first participation in Paralympic Games, the gold medal in foil: the (very justifiable) jubilation of a 19 years old girl who is aware of having achieved an important outcome. Nothing more, nothing less.

I wanna thank all the athletes for these days full of intense emotions, which I strongly hope will have positive effects on the daily life of all the disabled people, not just in Italy.

See you in Tokyo in 4 years: will Alex Zanardi be there as well? Maybe…