Sports Camp for 30 Young People With Spina Bifida at Lago Maggiore, Italy

Project location: ITALY, Lago Maggiore
Project start date: June 2012 - Project end date: June 2012
Project number: 2012-019
Beneficiary: Associazione Spina Bifida Italia Onlus


For the year 2012, A.S.B.I. has carried out the project "Sports Camp", designed for young people suffering from Spina Bifida from all over Italy and aged 15 to 25. The project had two main objectives:

· Help the young project's target gain more self-esteem by overcoming their limitations and learning sport practice

· Strengthen personal autonomy and experience social integration by interacting with people suffering from the same disease, as well as with the staff of entertainers and health care assistants involved in the Sports Camp.


The Sports Camp for boys and girls suffering from Spina Bifida took place from 15th to 22nd July 2012 at the Centro NaturAbile located in Varallo Pombia (No). The Center, equipped with sporting facilities accessible to disabled people such as swimming pool, cycle lanes and the sports arena provided with a tennis and a basket court, turned out to be an adequate place in terms of hospitality, reception and usability of sport and leisure activities. Besides, the proximity to the Maggiore Lake and to historical and natural attractions has allowed to organize trips to the surrounding area.

The project saw the participation of 30 young people suffering from Spina Bifida coming from all over Italy, including the major Islands (Emilia Romagna, Lombardia, Piemonte, Liguria, Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, Marche, Calabria and Sicilia). These people received assistance and support in practising various sports, such as handbike, swimming, tennis and sailing, in order to improve their autonomy, their self-esteem and awareness of their physical capabilities and chances of mobility.

As well as the sports practice, other useful activities were also implemented to the achieving of the Camp's objectives: driving tests with properly equipped cars, boat trips to the Islands of Maggiore Lake and evening tours to the small town of Arona, located near the lake.

All the activities and the educational and training itineraries were coordinated and monitored by the operators of the Centro NaturAbile, as well as by highly qualified tutors, instructors and health care assistants. According to the project's objectives, A.S.B.I. found that the Sports Camp undoubtedly contributed to an increase in the target's personal autonomy and self-esteem, as was confirmed by the participants:

"I had a wonderful and unforgettable experience! The place was great and the entertainers, the instructors and the health care assistants were fantastic! When I came back home I felt strong enough to face the problems I had left behind when I joined the project. I hope I will be able to take part next year! Thanks again!" Maria

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