The sport that unites

Publish date 12-03-2022

by Redazione Sermig

The most beautiful dreams are made while awake, in the concreteness of life and looking upwards. The only method that makes you see beyond: places that can be transformed, wounded lives that can enter fullness, tears and social tensions that can be recomposed. Pala-Sermig is the sum of many nuances, a dream of dialogue and integration through sport on which the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, also wanted to put the seal.

November 12 will not be remembered for a simple ribbon cutting, but for the good that comes when so many people agree to get involved. The President, together with the children and young people of the Turin districts of Aurora and Porta Palazzo, witnessed how sport can become an educational project.
He saw it in the serene faces that welcomed him, in the music, in the football and volleyball teams of Sermig, in the gymnastics of the girls of the Tigers Academy, in the experience of the Bocciabili who made sport a true element of inclusion. From now on, it is the world that will populate the PalaSermig, a multipurpose building with over 400 seats built in just ten months.

Work began in January, when excavations began. The foundations were laid between February and March, the roof was laid and the structure completed from May to June, the finishings in July, the systems in August, the parquet in September and finally the furnishings in October. "In all these years - explained Ernesto Olivero, founder of Sermig - we have understood that sport is an incredible tool for spreading the values ​​of respect, coexistence and friendship among the little ones". A dream finally come true. (editorial board)

We started by removing the syringes from the same spot where, shortly after, the kids would put down their sticks and knives before playing. The abandoned factories across the street and an illegal landfill in front of the front door. Bad faces in search of their lost childhood in a piece of town abandoned by everyone, but always full of children and young people who wanted to play, the place where we learned that, really, goodness is disarming: a smile and a handshake welcome to those used to being shunned by everyone out of fear, boys who stopped peddling and doing bad things. At least for one game.

In the heart of one of the largest cities in our country, there was no Italian and we were foreigners, a football was the only language that everyone could understand. Each team belonged to a single ethnic group, all the others were enemies.
We did not want to win the barrel and we invented the dream of a team, the magic of a shirt with the word peace on it and the design of all the flags of the world to which everyone could feel they belong, because everyone's soul has the same color.

We started by going with a van in search of the boys in the street and in the gardens before the games, the need for rules not to get lost and not to lose them, the obligation to speak in Italian, otherwise with no play. They were very good with the ball and a little less good without it.
Together we have won tournaments and championships, but lost many games. Boys who disappeared, making themselves alive with a letter from prison.

Let's think about them now. Now that everything is new and beautiful, now that a piece of the city has been returned to the children and families who live near it, now that wonder instead of fear appears on the face of those who approach it, now that everyone wants to come to play here. Now that the ball is in the center and the referee is about to blow the whistle. It's not just a match.
For some it is the border. Between good and evil, friendship and hatred, care and abandonment, integration and deviance. It is the question with which we wake up every day: will we be able to love him more than the evil he wants to live in their hearts? A child passes in front of a friend with a hole in his shoes and a patched ball in his hand, he raises his eyes to the sky and tells his dream of him: we too want to play in Peace. (Marco Grossetti)

NP December 2022

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