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First of all... INCLUSION. A journey into the Stellazzurra Academy to discover the multi-ethnic philosophy behind the team admired at the U20M Italian National Finals

Pubblicato il Lunedì 9 Maggio 2016 - General News

 It would not have escaped any youth basketball supporter, who watched the U20 Italian National Finals in Cantù last week, that Stella Azzurra Rome came third despite having many under aged players. They managed to achieve this because of a series of improved performances, but also after losing an intense semi-final against the host team, which deservedly went on to win the whole thing with a crowd of over 3000 people.


The Stellazzurra team had players from Italy, Serbia, Bosnia, Italian-English, Montenegro and Senegal. Furthermore, if we go and look at the U18, U16 (who won the EYBL European title in Estonia the same week), U15 and U14 Stellazzurra teams, we would also find players from Italy, Romania, Malta, Norway, Iceland, Cameroon, India, Chile, Israel, etc. Additionally, with our fixed or temporary coaching staff we can also find different nationalities, languages, religions, habits and customs.


Some might not take into consideration that on a daily basis these young athletes need to learn to live together, learn to respect one another and learn to bond as a team, uniting them with the same jersey. Furthermore, by watching them play one can see group cohesion, authentic bonds, mutual help, sharing objectives and harmony, this is because during the season and in the years that follow the whole system supports a series of actions, aimed at the objective INCLUSION.


Nowadays almost all professional teams are multiethnic, therefore the ability to go beyond prejudices and differences and to work together are extra things to have for anyone who wishes to work in prominent contexts and not only in sport. For this reason, one of Stellazzurra Basketball Academy’s primary objectives is to make sure that the athletes grow up to be cultural mediators who not only build positive relationships with different people and accepting them, but become individuals capable of fostering and accelerating intercultural processes in the contexts in which they are inserted.


At Stella Azzurra we do not only improve players, we also wish to train young athletes so that when they become adults they will improve their work system. This is Germano D’Arcangeli’s vision that goes beyond basketball and tries to obtain ethical values such as racial integration.


How can we achieve this ambitious objective?

Surely with everyone’s contribution. The first thing an individual notices when entering Stellazzurra is that the same rules apply for everyone, whether you are white, black, tall, short, talented, etc. Secondly, that Stellazzurra is a family where everyone is responsible in some way for everyone else’s actions. Instructors and coaches work hard to try and teach the players to be grateful for any gift they receive by a worker or from a teammate. This can only go well thanks to the constructive contribution and attitude of all the components, from the first to the last.


Off court these contents are entrusted to laboratories and seminars for instructors and individuals held by psychologists and all types of experts where they discuss, stimulate, inspire to be a better person and make sure that in time the experiences made will always be more significant.


What we propose throughout the year are; dynamic groups on emotions to learn their own and those of others, on sensitive issues, geopolitical laboratories to try and comprehend the world in which we live, cultural initiatives, intercultural debates where each person has the opportunity to talk about their own countries and listen to other players countries, multicultural theater laboratories and much more.


Nothing comes from nothing, therefore that perceived sense of union while watching the team’s play is based on the precise intention that Stellazzurra Academy is on a journey that does not only seek sporting excellence but human intelligence and ability as well as where everything is finalized for this main objective.


Barbara Rossi

Sport Psychologist – Stellazzurra Basketball Academy