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Florence, a role-model city | MENS

Florence, capital city of the Italian region Tuscany, is one of the Italian changemaker city in the field of sport and mental health. Many are the opportunities for mental patients who want to take part in sporting activities. Besides, in the last 3 years, Florence has organized several important sporting events aiming to involve them.

Recently, from the 25th to the 27th of May 2018, the city hosted various sporting competitions reserved for more than 1000 athletes with intellectual and relation disabilities.100 metres, javelin, jump and football, were among the disciplines organized by Fisdir (Italian Federation of Paralympic Sports), CIP (Italian Paralympic Committee) of Tuscany, the Region, and the municipality of Florence.

Florence’s municipality is indeed really keen on organizing these kinds of event. It had already been the protagonist of sporting competitions. For instance, it hosted the Trisomy Games in 2016: the Olympics Games reserved for athletes with Down syndrome. This international event was attended by participants from 36 countries and required a huge organization to host the athletes engaged in 9 sports. A real paralympic village had been created for them and a parade during the inauguration ceremony was a way to involve the citizens and to make known the athletes.

This is a real engagement of both the municipality and the region as Stefania Saccardi, the regional council for the right to health, social rights, and sport, said “We are satisfied that Tuscany is distinguishing itself for the organization of sportingevents. Sport must be an element of education, integration and health promotion.”

These declaration are in accordance with the one of Sara Furano, welfare councillor of the municipality of Florence during the Trisomy Games in 2016. “Sport is a vehicle for social inclusion and breaks all stereotypes. Tuscany is a lucky territory where there are many projects. The Trisomy Games will put the spotlight on the athletes but also be an engine to do even more and even better.”