Supporting the Construction of a Social Sport Center in the Corviale District, Rome

Project location: ITALY, Rome
Project start date: September 2013 - Project end date: November 2015
Project number: 2013-042
Beneficiary: Calciosociale SSDARL



Calciosociale organizes special social events that develop around soccer matches and aim at providing a valid alternative to violence and drug abuse for the residents of socially stigmatized suburbs.
The advanced vision presented by Calciosociale has brought forth a reinterpretation of athleticism by taking advantage of sports’ educational potential.
Calciosociale’s revolutionary idea has transformed simple soccer fields in “life training areas” through which the concept of integration becomes concrete. As a matter of fact, we may speak of true and real social integration only when disadvantaged or impaired individuals are given the chance to interact directly with socially and physically able individuals. This is the greatest innovation proposed by Calciosociale and it has been subject to great scrutiny and praise by important social and healthcare institutions.
Calciosociale presents itself as an efficient and valid countermeasure to the social degradation in towns’ poorest suburb areas. Social degradation in these areas leads to the deterioration of individual and family values in addition to great social imbalances. All these factors tend to strengthen, within the neighbourhood population, a sense of resignation and personal defeat, fostering profound distrust in all political and social institutions.
In light of all the high praises received for its volunteering program, Calciosociale decided to lease – for 18 years – a sporting facility on Via Poggio Verde, 455, in the Corviale neighbourhood, right across from a notorious district building known as “Serpentone" (details of this building will follow). The leased facility, now thriving in an area symbol of urban degradation, serves as Calciosociale’s national and European headquarters.
The structure had been initially conceived as a sporting facility for youngsters however it had been left unused for many years and had started to decay. Precisely for this reason the building was entrusted to Calciosociale, who committed to renovating it and giving it back to the local community after many years of protests and renovation requests. The sporting centre was then named “Campo dei Miracoli – Valentina Venanzi”, to honour the memory of a young volunteer who passed away in a tragic accident.
The structure, built during the ’70s and known as “Serpentone”, was constructed in the south-west are of town, edging on Via Portuense, by the local municipality in close cooperation with a team of architects lead by Mario Fiorentino.
The structure stretches out for 1km, has 9 floors, two basements and one cellar, as well as total number of 1202 apartments.
The Corviale-Casetta Mattei neighbourhood accounts for 16000 inhabitants, of which 6000 now live within the “Serpentone”.

A sociological analysis carried out by Rome’s municipality revealed that the age range most at risk is the pre-adolescent one, between 0 and 13 years of age, for a total of 1801 minors, most of who live in economically and socially disastrous conditions. The 14 to 19 age range accounts for 861 youngsters; the 20 to 29 accounts for 2817 individuals; the 30 to 64 accounts for 8270 adults; while there are 2176 elder individuals in the over-60 age range.
It is within this complex social context that Calciosociale operates to minimize the generational gap in order to prevent social and family conflicts by bringing together all community members through educational activities.
Through extensive fundraising campaigns the sporting centre is undertaking massive renovation works in the hopes of rebuilding the centre according to an innovative project, entirely based on bio-architecture.
As a matter of fact, Calciosociale has been included in the 2013 Open House for the presentation of this high-tech project. The renovation project aims at re-evaluating the pre-existing structure thanks to a construction vision that exploits the functional aspects of the original building and promotes the rational usage of natural materials such as wood, clay, straw, cane, etc…
Unfortunately, Calciosociale has been able to open the structure only partially due to the high construction costs and the lack of sufficient funding that have made it impossible to complete the whole original project.
Following insistent requests the municipality’s Council, a local Police Station and a Technical Services office have been relocated to the Corviale neighbourhood. Furthermore, new social and public spaces have been created: the Centro Polivalente Campanella, which includes an extensive library and a professional development centre; an expo area and a community drama theatre; a senior centre and a rugby sporting facility.
S.S.D Calciosociale will assume the responsibility of promoting the values of legality and of shared community wellbeing through all its activities.

The project “Sunshine on Suburbs” (Un Sole sulle Periferie) puts itself as an efficient answer to the social decay of the urban outskirts, such as Corviale district, which brings to the displacement of the individuals, familar and social’s balances, insinuates a sense of defeat and resignation inside the single person and cretaes a deep distrust towards the political and social’ insitutions.
The project, structured in two phases (Construction of a Social Sport Center and Empowering Disadvantaged Youth) arise as a valid alternative to streets, drugs addiction and to the exclution of youth resident in the outskirts, socially stigmatized.
 “Sunshine on Suburbs” (Un Sole sulle Periferie)) will create real integration putting in contact persone disagiate e persone normodotate, within a common physical space (the Social Sport Center "Campo dei Miracoli – Valentina Venanzi” in Corviale) and sharing a common passion: the football. These young people will be able to cultivate and harness the common wealth of their own communities, from the human, social, cultural, physical, enviromental and financial point of view.

Phase 1. Construction of the Social Sport Center
The initial phase of the project “Sunshine on Suburbs” (Un Sole sulle Periferie) is to build the Social Sport Center in Corviale, in order to create a space where boys and girls could play social football and begin other activities.
The Construction of the Sport Center has already started, thanks to a first loan by public and private corporation such as: Vodafone Foundation, Ministry of Economics , Province of Rome, and partners such as: Province of Rome, Italian Red Cross, Medal of the President of the Republic, Institute for the sports credit, On. Walter Veltroni, Dott. David Maria Sassoli, On. Fabio Granata, Lazio District, On. Marco Carusi, Dott. Marco Cosentino (Senato della Repubblica), Social Secretariat of Rai, Dott. Paolo Masini (Roma Capitale).
The sport complex is in the requalification phase towards the realization of a project which respects all the the innovative techniques dictated by BioArchitecture.
Indeed Calciosociale’s structure has been insert in the Open House 2013 event as testimony of the construction industry’s innovation applied. The intervantion has pointed to the riqualification of the preexisting structure towards a work centred on a functional aspects and rational usage of natural materials such as wood, hemp, clay, straw, reed etc.
The load requested to Nando Peretti Foundation will allow to finish the construction of the main building (where the sport activities will be held) and the sport camps (where the social football activities will be held).

Phase 2. Start up of the activity 
In this context, the project “Sunshine on Suburbs” (Un Sole sulle Periferie),  fits by proposing several activities which approach again and reconcile people from different age group, helping them to prevent a generation gap and domestic clashes, but proposing itself as an educational opportunity.

1. Sport activities: new kind of soccer

Calciosociale is an absolutely new kind of soccer, open to anyone and based upon rules that have been purposefully rethought to have strong social impact (the rules of the game will presented later).
The advanced vision presented by Calciosociale has brought forth a reinterpretation of athleticism by taking advantage of sports’ educational potential. Calciosociale’s revolutionary idea has transformed simple soccer fields in “life training areas” through which the concept of integration becomes concrete. As a matter of fact, we may speak of true and real social integration only when disadvantaged or impaired individuals are given the chance to interact directly with socially and physically able individuals. This is the greatest innovation proposed by Calciosociale and it has been subject to great scrutiny and praise by important social and healthcare institutions.
Since 2005 a group of educators and sports experts have been implementing the structure of Calciosociale within the God is Love (GIL) tournament, sponsored by the Prime Minister and by the Senate in the name of its high social value. Participation to his tournament enabled SSDRL Calciosociale to be the award winning institution of the prestigious CONI Rome award.
The GIL tournament involves over 120 players of all ages and their families: men, women and children with disabilities, including teenagers facing drug addictions and difficult family contexts. All the participants are randomly distributed among 12 teams.
The general rules are those applied to soccer for 8 players, the only difference is that the captains also serve as referees and the team members must abide by some peculiar rules; like the one whereby one player may not score more than three goals during a single match, pushing the more egocentric players to discover the beauty of team cooperation.
The most amazing thing about all this is: Calciosociale works miracles! It is not only a new way of playing soccer but, for many players; it becomes a way of life through which they regain trust in concepts such as love and respect for themselves and others.
All the volunteers who participate to the events and play during the games are encourages to bond with the other participants avoiding all sorts of discriminatory behavior.
This is certainly one of the aspects that make Calciosociale such an innovative example of peer-to-peer education.
Each and every activity organized by Calciosociale has a purely pedagogical aim as well as high qualitative and psycho-therapeutic values, all of which contributes to the objective of commending the individual qualities of community members. Any person, male or female between 10 and 90 years of age, may participate to the Calciosociale tournament as long as they are able to provide a valid medical certificate.
The unique features of a Calciosociale tournament are:

• The inclusion into a social reality that strives for integration and in which each individual is granted an equal chance at winning the tournament, regardless of physical and mental abilities, sex and/or religious creed;
• The creation of a leading educational team comprised of a team captain and one educator;
• The full involvement of the families of the youngsters involved in the tournament;
• The implementation of practical workshops for professional skills’ development, such as writing sports articles and soccer matches video post-production.

Calciosociale establishes itself not only as a game but also as a practical lifestyle in which values such as justice, respect and integration are paramount.

Calciosociale is a new kind of soccer, based on rethought rules that aim at obtaining the highest possible social impact as well as take full advantage of sports’ educational potential. This revolutionary idea has transformed simple soccer fields in “life training areas” through which the concept of integration becomes concrete.
To ensure that all these goals are met, Calciosociale also avails itself of the support of some of the most renowned public organizations and communities within the healthcare and rehabilitation fields (Villa Letizia, the Justice Department for Minors, Villa Maraini and the Healthcare Department of Rome’s ASL).
Calciosociale wishes to present itself as an open community that may be joined freely by any one person as opposed to an organization to which membership needs to be sought out. To this end, numerous developmental workshops and professional development courses, as well as movie discussion groups and other teaching activities will be organized to cater to the needs of the poorest members of the community.

RULES OF THE GAME – SUMMARY

The Rules
• Participation prerequisites are handled by the Technical Commission
• Any person, male or female between 10 and 90 years of age, may participate to the Calciosociale tournament as long as they are able to provide a valid medical certificate. The teams, composed of 10-11 players, will be dissolved at the end of every championship.
• Definition of the team and possible withdrawals & absences
During the definition of the teams, two positions will be purposefully left vacant. The existence of a Technical Committee will guarantee the appropriate management of any withdrawal or absence.
• The role of the educator and the team captain
Each team will have an educator and a team captain. These will be registered volunteers who will cover these roles without any remuneration, embracing Calciosociale’s values.
• The educator is in charge of all the decisions across the team;
• The captain supports the educator following his leads and his educational decisions. He serves as a vice-educator, stimulating and encouraging the team members by working to create a joyful and welcoming atmosphere. Throughout the year he will be responsible, alongside the educator, of all educational activities and for developing a tactical and technical growth plan. It is paramount for both the educator and the captain to develop a functional synergy and to operate of common accord so that their role may be see that of a cohesive leading team. The educator coordinates overall operations and assigns responsibilities to the captain who, respecting the educator’s decisions, will follow his lead and aid him in developing healthy relationships with all the team members. This will enable the captain to eventually become an educator.
• Refereeing
The two captains will take technical decisions together and will handle all refereeing decisions. Should any issues arise; the educators will step in to handle the matter.
• Scoring goals
Any one player may not score more than three goals during a single match, pushing the more egocentric players to discover the beauty of team cooperation.
• Penalties
The penalty striker is always the player with the lowest skills assessment. If he/she is absent, the next player with the lowest score will kick the penalty.
• Goalkeeper returns
In case of goal kicks the goalkeeper must execute the return with his hands within the midfield line.
• Changes
• If there are more than 8 players during a match, changes will be scheduled on a rotation every 5 minutes. All players should alternate, preferably according to a set scheme developed by the technical team.
• Time Out
During any single match each team has one one-minute time-out available, which may be called only by the educator. The time-out should not be used for the discussion of technical game strategies.
• Disciplinary actions
Should any foul play against team members or opponents (insults, offensive gestures and/or remarks, simulations or voluntary fouls) the two educators must speak to the player in private to straighten the situation.
• Sharing: before and after the game
At the beginning of every match the teams will come together at midfield and share thoughts, expectations and ambitions in order to ready themselves to live the match as a growth opportunity.

2.    Others activities

In addition to the sporting events, Calciosociale also offers the following:
• Spiritual triangulation
During these unique three days, Calciosociale presents a new soccer game typology in which the values of fair play and respect are considered more valuable than those of victory and competition.
Calciosociale should not be considered as just another way of playing soccer, but rather as a “way of living life together”. Achieving this objective requires the ability to compromise, to discard conventional social prejudices and an open minded approach to other cultures.
The idea of this “spirituality triangulation” is born from the desire to prove that it is possible to create a world different from the one that surrounds us: a world in which Christians, Jews, Muslims and Atheists discuss the concrete possibility of developing a common synergy and face overwhelming global events.
This event becomes as a safe haven for anyone who wishes to open him/herself to that which is conventionally regarded as “foreign”, without having to deny his/her individuality or faith.
The soccer fields are thus transformed into something more than just playgrounds: the become beacons of authentic and open dialog.
• Craftsmanship workshops
These consist of a number of craftsmanship activities, open to all community members, which aim at guiding the participants towards a rediscovery of their humanity through a gradual approach to manual labour and reintroducing a reality free from the influence of the media and the web.
The educational objective of the craftsmanship activities is that of allowing youngsters to take back ownership of their bodies and abilities. Their manual labour leads to the production of a tangible final good, which provides a concrete proof of their abilities empowering them and boosting their self-esteem.
These are some of the proposed activities:
• Wine, beer and jam making
• Wood carving
• Land cultivation
• Soap making
• A first approach to ecological architecture principles as well as notions of bio-architectural technological innovation through the analysis of the bio-architectural structure presented by Calciosociale at the 2013 Open House.
• Fine arts: painting, sculpting, photography, design, decoupage and creation of handmade items, such as a jewelry, embroidery, etc…
• Monthly flea markets
• Days of tutored study
• Theatre group: every year Calciosociale organizes in Corviale a special drama club that has the potential of becoming a valid pedagogical tool thanks to its intrinsic characteristics, which grant participants the chance to develop critical and social skills.
• Creation of a local solidarity market for all the products produced within the establishment

This project received a grant from the Nando Peretti Foundation.
At the end of the construction of the multi-purpose Gym Tennis volleyball / football / basketball and all sports for the disabled in wheelchairs, of the two football fields and the section on non-sporting activities, our anticipated achievements  will be the following:
1.    sports activities for disabled, 150 person per year
2.    social football tournament, 180 person per year
3.    courses of study assisted, 400 children per year
4.    theater workshop, 50 persons per year
5.    craft workshops, 200 persons per year
6.    special course in horticulture (The Permaculture Way), 150 persons per year


Calciosociale was founded in 2005 and its operations are based on the objective of organizing friendly and welcoming activities for children and teenagers with psychomotor impairments, who may be victims of difficult economic situations, social marginalization, drug addictions or domestic violence.

Thanks to the active cooperation of ten highly experienced educators within the youth sector, Calciosociale is able to promote the rehabilitation of youngsters with difficult economic and domestic circumstances, social integration issues and/or physical disabilities through an especially designed sport methodology developed on the principles of peer-education. 
It is important to stress how, over the last years, the work done at Calciosociale has been defined by many government and public institutions, such as ASL and Rome’s Tribunale Penale Health Ministry and Justice Ministry), as socially useful and able to provide tangible support to the more needy members of the community, like prisoners, drug addicts in rehab and individuals with disabilities.
Currently, the activities carried out by Calciosociale involve over 400 families.
As of today Calciosociale’s activities are present on the Italian territory in multiple locations: Rome, Corviale neighbourhood; Montevarchi, just outside the city of Arezzo; Naples, Scampia neighbourhood; on the island of Sardinia in Quartu S.Elena; and, in Carsoli, Abruzzo. Every year, Calciosociale promotes partnerships and summer camps with the aim of sharing resources amongst the existing centres and improving the impact of their activities.
In 2009 Calciosociale received the prestigious  “Coni Rome Award” and in March 2012, it was asked to present its operations at the European Parliament in Bruxelles to show how a functional social community - that holds full social integration as a final objective - can become a cutting edge tool worth of being exported to other European capitals.

Calciosociale SSDARL
think global, act local
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