ARIES Project: Against Racism Through Sport (2009-2010)
Italy, Bulgaria, Romania and Austria joined for 18 months to fight racism through sport. Because Europe unites us all, but integration is something that is achieved only together, game by game.
The organizers of Aries have taken up the challenge of uniting peoples through sport, starting from schools and sports associations. The project is aimed at European countries that in recent years have suffered the hardest manifestation of racism: Romania and Bulgaria, the latest arrivals in the European Union, in fact fight not only against poverty, but also against the racism manifested against the Roma. Similarly in Italy, integration continues to be an often-forgotten word, which clearly divides Italian citizens from immigrants or the children of second-generation immigrants.
What can be done to heal this gap is to encourage children to practice sport as a tool of integration, as a way to vent negative energy while conveying education and respect. Practicing sports, in fact, is a perfect way to increase self-esteem and sense of teamwork. And not only that. It can also be used to raise thoughs and questions about human dignity and the fight against discrimination in all its forms. Topics such as European citizenship and common rights, which could otherwise be perceived as abstract, are of interest when included in sports-related proposals with related seminars. A test to support this thesis is the enthusiasm shown by the participants of the project Aries during the activities carried out and the tournaments of mixed teams.