One of these projects is the We Play programme promoted by Briantea84 and Fondazione Milan in collaboration with La Nostra Famiglia in Bosisio Parini. Taking part in the CSI (Centro Sportivo Italiano – Italian Sport Centre) 11-aside football provincial championship by an integrated team composed of players with and without intellectual and relational disabilities means that on the pitch there is so much more than a simple (and understandable) desire to win.
Headed by Giorgio Pagani, this group is getting a lot of experience. The championship began in October and will finish 22 matches later at the end of April. The last home game was on 26 February at the Toto Caimi pitch in Cantù. A challenge with a predictable result: the most classic turnaround between Briantea84, at the bottom of the table in round B of Como Serie B (second division), and Polisportiva Cucciago 80, leader of the classification with 10 wins and one draw to its credit.
“Clearly, our aim is not the result” – Coach Pagani admitted – “but to build a solid group. So far, time and experience are telling us that we’re on the right track: from the point of view of a youngster who chooses to play in an integrated team, there is the chance to be on the inside and see the dynamics that would be difficult to explain. The hope is that they play WITH disabled youngsters and not just to please them. There is a subtle but important difference. From the point of view of our players with intellectual difficulties, there is the pressure and desire to improve in a context of normality, where it’s the good athletes who are playing, irrespective of disabilities”.
To find out more about the activities being developed by Briantea84 and Fondazione Milan, look here