“My free field” at the Gazzi prison, a triangular football match in the name of inclusion


By John

As part of the campaign Sport for All Inclusionfinanced by the government agency “Sport e Salute Spa” took place on Saturday 16 March, with a friendly football triangular match, the sports-educational project “My Free Field”.

The initiative, which was included among other things in Libera's calendar of events “the One Hundred Steps towards March 21st” in memory of the innocent victims of all the mafias, took place inside the sports facility of the prison of Messina Gazzi. Three teams took to the field: a formation representing the prison population, one of magistrates and one of CSI volunteers under the watchful eyes of the prison director Dr. Angela Sciavicco and the president of the supervisory court Dr. Francesca Arrigo. The sporting event represents the culmination of a journey lasting 7 months in which the CSI, thanks to expert and qualified instructors, promoted four sports disciplines within the prison walls, aimed at prisoners, with the objective of promoting well-being and of social inclusion.

The “Il Mio Campo Libero” project was born from the collaboration between the prison itself, the CSI Messina ASD and the Messina Territorial Committee of the Italian Sports Center who together wanted to offer a unique opportunity for personal growth and development through sport.

In a context like that of detention, where freedom is reduced and borders often seem insurmountable, it is essential to create spaces of freedom and personal growth. “Il Mio Campo Libero” proposed precisely this: to offer a physical and mental playing field, where everyone can express themselves, overcome their limits and find a sense of belonging”, these are the marginal words of the President of the Messina Territorial Committee of the CSI Santi Smedile.

Through sport, the prisoners experienced teamwork, respect for the rules and management of emotions. Learning that every defeat can be an opportunity for growth and that every victory must be shared with others. In this way, we build not only better athletes, but also better people.

But “My Free Camp” was not just a sports project, an opportunity to improve the individual well-being of prisoners. It is also an initiative that aims to promote social inclusion and encourage the reintegration of prisoners into the community. In fact, sport can be a bridge to the external community, a way to break isolation and build positive relationships with society.

For the record of the triangular tournament held today, the home team emerged victorious on the field, having prevailed over both the CSI volunteers and the magistrates' team. So at the end of the regular minutes a small convivial moment was created with all the participants as protagonists who were rewarded with medals and cups on the occasion.

Finally, it is important to underline that “My Free Camp” would not have been possible without the support and commitment of all those who participated: volunteers, instructors, prison staff and the prisoners themselves. It is only through collaboration and solidarity that it has been possible to realize the full potential of this project and open up new opportunities for change and growth.

In conclusion, “Il Mio Campo Libero” was able to represent a tangible expression of the desire to build a more just, inclusive and supportive society.