European Veterans Championships | 27 May 2022
European Veteran Championships, parade of authorities: "This is how sport starts again"
4000 people, including 3000 athletes, 800 accompanying persons and over 200 volunteers, referees and organization staff - these important numbers are just the prologue of the STAG European Veterans Championships which will take place in Rimini from 25 June to 2 July.
In the press conference held yesterday in Rome, at the CONI Italian Olympic Committee headquarters, an illustrious configuration of international sports and political authorities provided to reveal the reasons for the interest of the event. ETTU acting President Pedro MOURA was also present alongside
“ETTU is sure that the EVC in the hands of the FITeT will not fail to provide great satisfaction. It will be unforgettable European Championships for various reasons: it is the first European Championships after the pandemic Paralympic athlete are also included, an element that will further extend the horizons of inclusiveness, which have always characterized the European Veterans Championships”,” said ETTU acting President Pedro MOURA.
“What you are organizing in Rimini is very important - commented Petra SÖRLING, ITTF President. These 3,000 athletes do not go to Rimini just to play, but also to reunite after the pandemic. I have been playing since I was 8, I love my sport. As a child I used to play it everywhere, on every surface, to the disappointment of my older sister! What you showed today is exciting (referring to a video on the activities organized by FITeT), it reminds me how wonderful this sport is”.
FITeT President Renato DI NAPOLI added: “Placing the Paralympic athletes in an event was a dream of mine, and I finally succeeded. The purpose of FITeT is not just the organization of major sporting events, but many other things. It is the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, inclusiveness and aggregation”.
Words of affection and gratitude were also expressed by Luca PANCALLI, President of the Italian Paralympic Committee: “I am particularly proud of FITeT. The Federation is demonstrating great capabilities, with great men, women and means. For the first time, FITeT let Paralympic athletes entering such a large event: it is an important sign. Not only the present is built on these events, but also the future. Only in this way will we be able to intercept the desire for sport of many disabled children, who do not know it yet but will be the Paralympic athletes of tomorrow. For this I want to say thank you!”.
Michele SCISCIOLI, Head of the Sport Department for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, brought the greetings of Undersecretary Valentina Vezzali and reiterated how the promotion of grassroots sport is among the government's priority objectives. "Events of this kind show to our interlocutors that through the organization of these events we can generate a lot of positive energy. And so let's go on like this ». After that, he wanted to thank the Local Authorities, Municipalities and Regions, which always an important driving force for such initiatives.
Vito COZZOLI, president and CEO of Sport and Health, the public company promoting sports practice, announced:
“This is a great opportunity to restart Italian Sport FITeT has well interpreted the line that the Government has drawn for sport, as a means of promotion and social aggregation. Sport is a multiplier of emotions, it improves our life, transmits authentic values, it is an economic driver. Thanks to the availability of the Federation, many children have approached this beautiful discipline, appreciating it, as have their teachers”.
Giammaria MANGHI, the Head of the Political Secretariat of the Presidency of the Emilia Romagna Region:”Sport is a central element in the policies of Emilia Romagna, for the values it carries with it. But also for the promotion of the region. We increasingly want our Region to become a Sport Valley, and for this purpose the city of Rimini boasts a great tradition. I am happy to know that these EVCs are a forerunner for values such as inclusiveness and equal opportunities, which I believe are a fundamental dimension of sport. They make this event an added value, a badge that convinces us even more to support this initiative and this Federation, which we will not miss our support even in the future”.
Giovanni MALAGÒ, President of CONI: “Thanks Renato Di Napoli for this event, with such important numbers. It will be an event of connection, of links between sport and promotion. I think the future goes in the direction of table tennis: it is a sport that is easy to organize and easy to practice, at all ages and with all abilities, as evidenced by your choice to include the Paralympic sector in the scheduled competitions”.
The city councillor of the city of Rimini, Francesco BRAGAGNI, expressed the enthusiasm of the city in being able to host such a prestigious event.
Giuseppe MARINO, Secretary General of FITeT and Executive Director of the EVCs concluded the conference, dismissing journalists and speakers: “We believe in the sport and tourism model. Emilia Romagna has always been a hospitable region, it has understood this model well and is applying it. Thousands of people are anticipating a sporting holiday seasoned with tourism experiences. I'm sure we will give an example of how Italy knows how to welcome and how to organize, leaving a good memory in the participants and their companions”.