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We share the values of sport with youngsters, to help them have a positive attitude to life

Sport for Change is a program created by Fondazione Milan, aimed at supporting young people aged 12 to 24 who, due to different causes, are at risk of early-school leaving or have already been convicted.

The goal is to ensure that young people resume their studies supporting them in the process of social reintegration.

The program provides for the establishment of “presidia”, where these young people, recommended by schools, social services, educational institutions and aggregation bodies of a specific territory, are accompanied through an annual path structured as follows:

  1. introduction to sports practice
  2. recreational-expressive workshops
  3. vocational activities and professional advice to help adolescents to identify their own business project;
  4. individual psycho-educational support.

In this path these young boys and girls are followed by a team formed by a coach, a pedagogist and a psychologist.

2016/2017 season marked an important moment in the development of the program.

On the one hand, the benefits of the previous three years were collected in the territories of Bollate, Limbiate and Bernareggio. The schools, while acknowledging the benefits of the initiative, have included Fondazione Milan’s proposal within the educational offer and this supported teachers’ involvement in a more complete and conscious assessment of the children involved in the program, recording all changes during the school year through a specific questionnaire developed by the staff of Fondazione Milan.

The parents, after overcoming the last mistrusts, have proved to be true allies in their children’s educational, integrating with the work of the staff and encouraging the achievement of the objectives defined for each one. Finally, the amateur sports associations, key to these three “presidia”, have been called to invest in the establishment and training of their own dedicated staff who have supported those who have implemented the work in previous years. This certainly challenging move was made to bequeath a model of social intervention on the territory.

2016/17 season also saw the birth of new presidia, the result of the experience gained in the previous three years. In fact, activities were launched Milan’s zone 4 and 5, as well as in the Municipality of Vimodrone. Three new presidia in Milan, plus those in Naples and Rome, for a total of eight presidia dedicated to this program on a national basis in the 2016/17 season.

The decision to invest in new projects arises from the desire to expand the territorial network, to consolidate and to develop the working model, also in light of the remarks and assessments of what was carried out on the field.

The development of the work on the new presidia first of all is the result of a management entirely carried out by Fondazione Milan’s staff, which has allowed a more precise and constant monitoring of the activities. Project managers, coaches, educators and psychologists have been selected, trained and led by the Fondazione. With these professionals, the number of human resources working on this program reached 23 units in the season, in addition to laboratory technicians.

The selection of the intervention areas was born by crossing the data of the needs to which we tried to respond thanks to partners open to a collaboration with Fondazione Milan. So the Zone 4 and 5 in Milan - in which Fondazione Milan had already started a test in the recent seasons - are among the most critical areas in terms of early-school leaving in the Lombard capital, while the presidia of Vimodrone and Rome have been developed in collaboration with institutions that have experience with minors in conflict with the law.  Finally, the intervention on Naples, also due to a collaboration born in 2011, wanted to work with both categories of young people, counting also on a privileged relationship with Nìsida juvenile prison. 

In each of the new presidia the intervention model already tested in previous experiences was implemented, enriched by new and more involving laboratories, by the planning of sports activity even more integrated with the educational objectives, by initiatives of openness to the territory with a highly inclusive vocation.

The construction of the territorial network was fundamental for every new intervention, both for the recruitment phase of the young boys and girls on the territory and for the building of the individual path. The network has thus become a real ally in supporting the inclusion of children, looking for jobs and goals consistent with the different realities that intercept their teenage lives, sometimes with a need for more care or support.

About 150 direct beneficiaries during the season: children and young people who have followed a path of inclusion through sport and we have tried to give them the opportunity to develop their talents and cultivate their dreams and passions.

The Sport for All program was born with the aim of giving children and young people with disabilities the opportunity to play sports, with particular attention: training and playing together with their able-bodied peers. To give substance to this commitment, Fondazione Milan has been looking for the best experiences in sports and/or taking care of people with disabilities, creating alliances capable of favouring meaningful experiences for disabled.

This modus operandi allowed to experience, over time, different responses and actions, each capable of reaching the objective set.

This approach was also confirmed during 2016/2017 season, during which Fondazione Milan Foundation committed to four initiatives in the Lombardy region.

The desire to verify once again the power of sport as a social glue in the face of disability glued these projects, each declining more specific objectives:

  • using sport as an educational and qualifying tool for people with disabilities;
  • exploiting the potential of sport to convey important values to structure a support path in contact with diversity;
  • using sport to encourage the meeting with able-bodied people available to get involved with people with disabilities in unidentified settings as places of care.

PlayMore! Special is one of the initiatives that sums up well this work. The project arises from the collaboration between Fondazione Milan and PlayMore – Milan’s sports association that involves sports supporters of all ages, genres, abilities and nationalities in projects and social aggregation events. The project was born from the need to give through sport, a concrete response to the issue of social integration and to the central role of people with disabilities, as well as citizens’ active participation.

Acting as a collector for the needs of the territory, PlayMore! Special has collected reports from local associations and cooperatives, it has involved young athletes with disabilities and has built extended activities that allow interaction with other sportsmen, coaches and volunteers.

The project has been structured in two macro activities:

  • integrated football practice with weekly training sessions, managed by a teacher and an educator, and it’s open to 12 young people with disabilities and 6 young volunteers.
  • a calendar of social events, opportunities to create a comparison between the athletes enrolled in the course and those of other organizations in the Milan area. Each event was designed to be a moment to raise awareness of integrated sport, but above all a party for players, relatives, friends and all the citizens of the neighbourhood. 

In addition to the 4 projects on which the work of the entire Season was focused, Fondazione Milan proposed the experience of the Special Soccer Camp for the 4th consecutive year. The initiative arose from the collaboration with Milan Junior Camp and it aims at integrating children and young people with disabilities into summer camps, allowing many young people with intellectual-relational disabilities and young people to develop together, discovering the differences as a treasure, united by one great passion: sport.

To carry out the project, Fondazione Milan works both with camp managers and with associations that deal with disabilities and that act as intermediaries with the children and their families. The project uses football in general and the experience of the camp in particular, as a tool for integration to respond to different types of difficulties: physical disability, mental distress and social discomfort.

For summer 2017, four specific interventions have been identified, both in the city formula and the residential one - with overnight stays - (the latter helps children to increase their autonomy and organizational and social skills):

  • Milan City Camp of Milan, realized at the Cimiano sports centre in collaboration with AITA Onlus where a group of ten children with autism spectrum disorder stayed for three weeks. The students of the project, as well as the coaches, are supported by the tutors of AITA, psychologists or psycho-pedagogists with a ratio of 1:1/1:2 and they are supervised by specialists in Child Neuropsychiatry who belong to national health facilities. The presence and collaboration of specialized tutors and qualified coaches guarantees an adequate and professional response to children’s specific needs, it encourages integration and it optimizes the impact on families who can perceive greater wellbeing, knowing that they have found a competent and appropriate space, where their children can spend hours of play and serenity.
  • Milan Junior Camp San Martino al Cimino (VT), realized in collaboration with AITA project: 5 children followed by the association shared a week with 45 other boys.
  • Milan Junior Camp Lignano Sabbiadoro, realized in collaboration with BRIANTEA84: 8 children with intellectual disabilities attended the camp from July 30 to August 5- Briantea84 A.S.D. promotes sports for people with disabilities, in particular by addressing young people
  • Special Soccer Camp Napoli, realized in collaboration with SSD Europa of Naples and AITA Onlus addressed to fifteen kids with autism spectrum disorder. 

The Special Soccer Camps have been an extraordinary experience, capable of generating full integration, through sport and play, of able-bodied kids and children with autism spectrum disabilities or cognitive and relational delays. For this reason, Fondazione Milan decided to confirm participation in the Europ Assistance Relay Marathon as a privileged moment of project promotion and fundraising necessary for the new edition in summer 2017. Many runners on April 2, 2016 decided to run alongside public charity linked to AC Milan, also becoming active as fundraisers. Many lovers of running while supporting Fondazione Milan found a further motivation to tie their shoes and to challenge themselves on the distance. 160 runners for 40 relays participated in the non-competitive relay. 5 athletes decided to try their hand in the entire marathon. More than €22,000 were raised, also thanks to the generosity of Alfaparf Milano that involved its employees as runners in the marathon, and GeneralFinance that set up a fundraising and raffled a generosity prize.

The work done during the year was challenging and full of satisfactions. Fondazione Milan organized a party of the closing of 2016/2017 season of Sport for All, held on June 10, 2017 at the Cimiano Sports Centre. The event saw many young people, protagonists of the various projects, experiencing a morning of sport, games and exercises on the field. A real party that was also the narration of the path of Sport for All during the season just ended and that has involved over 500 children, young people and young adults with disabilities.

KPIs Sport for All2016/2017
Beneficiariesabout 680
Teens included in integrated teamsabout 550
Number of Partners7
Practiced sports8
(football, golf, karate, basketball, swimming,
dance, canoeing, orienteering
Number of sports competitions3
Teens enrolled in the program296
Number of format2 formats
(city formula, residencial formula)
Duration of the program9 weeks
Non-profit organizations partners3

Fondazione Milan has among its objectives to promote the value of the person, sport and fair play. This is why we created the Sport for Values program that has been implemented, also for 2016/2017 season, according to a work method already tested in past years.

The concept is to create moments in which professional athletes and positive public figures start a dialogue with young people, telling their experience, thanks to the involvement of schools, parishes, aggregation centres, amateur sports associations.

Through these informal moments it is easier to highlight the importance of figures usually recognised for their professional performances, not for their human qualities.

The career of a sportsman, for example, is made up of sacrifices, fatigue, rules to be respected, objectives to be achieved, challenges to overcome. Values that transcend the world of sport, values that have always been at the centre of every activity of Fondazione Milan.

During 2016/2017 football season 4 meetings which involved players from the First Team, AC Milan Glorie and sportsmen from the world of fencing, were organized.

Considering the success of these meetings, Fondazione Milan wanted to enrich the program with a series of moments designed to involve AC Milan Youth Sector teams and, where possible, Club’s employees.

In this season all AC Milan teams have been involved, from Pulcini 2009 to Primavera footballers (U19s), in a match aimed at the young protagonists of Fondazione Milan projects. The agenda of the joint activity was designed to convey the values of diversity and the culture of inclusion to AC Milan’s young footballers and to discover how every difficulty can be transformed into an opportunity for growth. So, the children followed by Fondazione Milan got an opportunity to continue the educational work in particular towards adaptation to the competitive challenge and to listening to the other.

The activities have been designed in compliance with the work developed since the beginning of the season and in line with the age of the players involved. In fact, every coaching involved a team coming from the projects promoted by Fondzione Milan and a team of the same age of the Youth Sector. For the children of Limbiate and Bollate projects, a training and a meeting with AC Milan’s 2003-2004 teams and AC Milan Women's team have been organized.

2005 team, played with Don Gnocchi Foundation at the Vismara Sports Centre. AC Milan U15 players visited the Holy Family Foundation, which takes care of welcoming and assisting people with disabilities. Under 16s have visited the Kayros Community of Vimodrone, that welcomes young people in detention – on parole, involved in recovery programs, and young people from contexts of serious social need.

Finally, one last appointment featured some AC Milan’s employees, the players from AC Milan Youth Club and PlayMore! Special’s athletes, one of the projects born to give, through sport, a concrete answer to social integration and to the importance of people with disabilities. AC Milan’s guests were involved in one of the stages of the “Circuito Special”, a competition parallel to the “Coppa dei Quartieri” of Milan, whose goal is to involve middle school teens, not included in traditional sports circuits in a multi-sport tournament (volleyball, soccer and athletics). The guests, divided into groups, participated in the triangular program becoming immediately an integral part of the team groups. An opportunity for growth for all, once again demonstrating the great strength of sport in breaking down barriers. Special thanks to Marco Sfreddo (recently winner at the FIFDS Football World Cup - International Football Federation For People With Down Syndrome) and Matteo Ambrosini, both protagonists of the Coppa Quartieri - Circuito Special who had presented their own experience to the youth teams of AC Milan Youth Sector. Without avoiding teens’ questions, they gave their particular vision of sport and the concepts of sacrifice, fatigue, respect and propensities to objectives. Values that are fundamental in sport, which are also essential in everyday life. The program with the Youth Sector involved approximately 650 young people and the contribution of all adults involved, in particular technical staff, has been very important.

Fondazione Milan has consolidated a working model that develops over three guidelines plus a fourth one - dedicated to Emergency – which expresses Fondazione Milan’s desire to intervene in contexts affected by natural disasters or in which the social and economic conditions require particular attention.

This program has a cross-cutting objective which is common to all areas of Fondazione Milan’s work: giving back to children and young people the right to play and enjoy, giving life to sports spaces and opportunities for recreational activities.

On August 24, 2016 numerous seismic episodes have affected central Italy, upsetting the daily life of the populations of Marche, Umbria, Lazio and Abruzzo.

To show its closeness, Fondazione Milan set up a dedicated fund in September 2016, to support the reconstruction of the sites hit by the earthquake. The desire, in fact, is to rebuild spaces for aggregation and sharing and to give, especially to the little ones, safe places for games and sports. The fund was also activated thanks to AC Milan Glorie commitment: on September 3, 2016, in fact, a memorable match was played in the incredible setting in the Emirates Stadium in London, featuring AC Milan Glorie and Arsenal Legends. Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, David Seaman, Paolo Maldini, Marcel Desailly, Cafu and Abbiati played. The proceeds from the match were donated to Arsenal Foundation and to Fondazione Milan, which transferred them to the Earthquake Fund. During the season AC Milan Glorie participated, as testimonial, also to other sporting events, launched with the aim of collecting additional resources to be allocated to the cause. An example is the volleyball charity match on the snow promoted by Nutrilite and Plan de Corones Tourist Consortium, which has seen some of the protagonists of AC Milan history and the professional figures of the Italian national volleyball team challenged each other.

All members of the First Team were also among the first to respond to the call to action launched by Fondazione Milan. Thanks to the players' availability, a series of auctions were activated, thanks to which the supporters were able to win soccer official clothes and the opportunity to spend time with their favourite players. Thanks to the contribution of many supporters, the over €220,000 raised will be invested in these projects:

  • restructuring of Amatrice sports field, in collaboration with Lega Serie A and B Solidale;
  • building of a playground inside the nursery school of Pieve Torina (MC) and building of a multi-purpose hall inside the nursery school of Eggi (PG), in collaboration with Francesca Rava Foundation.

The completion of the works and the delivery of the spaces are expected in the first months of 2018, while hoping to add the creation of a summer campus dedicated to the children and teenagers of Amatrice and the surrounding areas, to animate those places and to bring back the right to play in a context that is still so problematic.