The CONI TROPHY, Italy's biggest under-14 sports event, is back. The venue for the Final Phase of the seventh edition of the Trophy will be Tuscany, which will host over 3,000 athletes from all over the country in Valdichiana Senese from 29 September to 2 October 2022. The CONI event - organised this year with the CONI Tuscany Regional Committee, in partnership with the Region of Tuscany and the Union of Municipalities Valdichiana Senese - was presented today at the Salone d'Onore, at the Foro Italico, by the CONI President, Giovanni Malagò, by the President of CONI Toscana, Simone Cardullo, by the President of the Unione dei Comuni della Valdichiana Senese, as well as Mayor of Torrita di Siena, Giacomo Grazi, and by the Mayor of Montepulciano, Michele Angiolini, in charge of the Valdichiana Senese tourism area.
After the stop due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a pleasant tradition is thus resumed with the Italian 'mini-Olympics', which, since the first edition in Caserta 2014, has been the most important youth activity event promoting the practice of sport among young people through the synergy of the entire sports system and with the participation of numerous sports associations.
More than 3100 athletes in the 10-14 age group, together with more than 800 technicians and accompanying persons, will arrive in Tuscany representing 23 delegations (including those from the Italian communities of Canada and Switzerland) ready to compete in 41 disciplines of 35 National Sports Federations and six Associated Sports Disciplines.
Athletes and companions will stay in the hotels in Chianciano Terme and in the Norcenni Girasole Village in Figline Valdarno, while the races will be held in the facilities of the municipalities of the Valdichiana Senese - Cetona, Chianciano Terme, Chiusi, Montepulciano, San Casciano dei Bagni, Sarteano, Sinalunga and Torrita di Siena - and in the neighbouring municipalities of Abbadia San Salvatore, Siena, Sovicille, then moving on to Arezzo, Laterina (Arezzo), Massarosa (Lucca) and, in Umbria, Lake Trasimeno (here is the list of municipalities involved).
The 'Mario Maccari' Municipal Stadium in Chianciano Terme will be the venue for the Opening Ceremony, scheduled for 29 September at 5.30 p.m. in the presence of President Malagò, CONI Secretary General Carlo Mornati, President Cardullo, numerous Federal Presidents and Regional Committees, and representatives of local authorities and municipalities hosting the event. The closing ceremony, however, will be staged on Saturday, 1 October at 6 p.m. in the Acqua Santa Park in Chianciano Terme.
The National Final of the CONI Trophy marks the end of a journey started by the youngsters with their Amateur Sports Associations and Clubs in their Provinces and Regions and, at the same time, an opportunity to grow in the name of sport. The chosen formula also favours the composition of mixed teams in individual sports (each team is composed of a maximum of four athletes for each FSN and DSA) and in team sports proper, promoting a confrontation on the field between the sexes with mutual respect and emphasising differences.
It is precisely the format strongly desired by CONI and well received by all sporting bodies. Moreover, it is the main feature of this multidisciplinary event, a forerunner of the gender equality that the IOC aims for at the Olympic level.
The first edition of the CONI Trophy took place in 2014 in Caserta and was then hosted in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Cagliari, Senigallia and Rimini. The last edition, before the pandemic, was held in the Calabrian municipalities of Crotone, Cutro and Isola di Capo Rizzuto.
The event's roll of honour includes Piedmont (2015, 2018) and Veneto (2016, 2019), winners of two editions, respectively, with Lazio (2014) and Lombardy (2017) winning one.
Giovanni Malagò: 'We are very happy: back to normal life. The CONI Trophy is our highlight, where 21 regions, including the provincial committees of Bolzano and Trento, give boys and girls this experience. It is also something more articulated than the youth Games. The multidisciplinary number we offer is something extraordinary. These boys and girls have a different eye for these new sports, and we must try to offer them resources, not only financially. It is also an opportunity to showcase the territory, so I am particularly happy. I think this kit and the T-shirt with the CONI brand and the region's logo will be an important souvenir for these boys and girls: happy to give them this experience.
Simone Cardullo: 'It gives me great pleasure to thank and remember Coni's support in bringing this event forward. Combining sport, territory and culture in a region like Tuscany is the best. I thank those working hard to put the athletes in the best conditions. It is important to understand that Ukraine's post-Covid, energy and war-related crisis is creating quite a few problems for us; I thank all the staff who are doing their best.
Giacomo Grazi: 'Thanks to Coni for choosing us. In the Valdichiana Senese, we are ten municipalities with several political colours, but this does not hurt because we have goals that unite us. We were chosen as the area because we could offer guarantees on paper and hopefully also on site. We are 65,000 inhabitants, we have a great territory, and all participants will be able to experience our Tuscan character. Happy to host and support the many young people who, after a two-year stop, can also resume these activities.
Michele Angiolini: 'I join in the thanks for choosing the Valdichiana Senese. I believe that Valdichiana has invested significant resources in the sport over the years, and I believe that these investments have brought us important recognition. For us, it is a great opportunity, also from an economic point of view: sports tourism is growing stronglyIn addition, it allows us to take stock of our sports facilities and go on to implement sports in our territories. This also serves us to convey the values that sport brings. In addition to the sports facilities, we have environments and paths where you can do outdoor activities: here too there is a great search for tourists, and we focus a lot on this. There is also wine, food, and architectural, historical, and cultural heritage. Everyone attending this event will realise what the Valdichiana Senese is about.