When sport becomes an expresion of solidarity

There is a close link between solidarity and sport, in a virtuous circle where commitment to sports becomes synonymous with the commitment to promoting solidarity and ethics, especially amongst young people. Two Inter Milan football players Esteban Cambiasso and Javier Zanetti, set up the project “Leoni di Potrero – Calcio per tutti” (Protrero Lions – Soccer for Everyone) several years ago. It is a free training centre in Milan that is supported by Pirelli and targeted at children between 5 and 12 years of age. The objective is to participate in the development of young students, by fostering positive values such as friendship, loyalty, fidelity, respect and tolerance. This represents a way to teach the concept of integration to children from different social classes, working to prevent negative situations like isolation and loneliness.

But Pirelli also sponsors baseball in Venezuela with the Pirelli Baseball School, with over 300 children and teenagers enrolled, basketball, volleyball, soccer and cycling in Brazil, dance, golf and horseback riding in Germany, and basketball in Turkey just to mention a few.

One hundred youths in the black community of Cape Town will develop their sailing talent with a contribution from Pirelli South Africa. The Company has sponsored the Izivungu Sailing School in Simon’s Town, the first sailing school in South Africa created to offer disadvantaged kids an opportunity for personal and professional growth through education in the values and techniques of sailing. Founded in 2001, the school is supported by the South African Navy. The youths “sponsored” by Pirelli will train at two “sailing bases” according to different programmes. Most of them will train at the head school in Simon’s Town, at the naval base, while ten of them will be admitted to the school in Cape Town, which is reserved to those who have already reached a certain level of skill.

Pirelli , as is now customary in its strategy of setting down deep local roots, has focused on soccer in New York as well, where it has contributed to the soccer project of the Citizens Committee for New York City.

Since 2008 FC Internazionale Milano, Pirelli and Comunità Nuova have operated the “Inter Campus” social project in Slatina, Romania.

Sports and recreational activities are organised for the whole year, with the participation of over 80 children from different social backgrounds. Through soccer, they have been learning the values of teamwork, social integration and the importance of friendship. An annual football tournament is organised in July, at the end of the sports year, for children at the Campus and for children from Slatina. In August, the children at Inter Campus Slatina were able to play soccer with Prime Minister Emil Boc, who made a special visit to the Pirelli factory.

In 2012 Pirelli and F.C. Internazionale Milano intend to repeat this experience with Inter Campus in Silao, Mexico, close to the new Pirelli factory.