29 March – 1 April 2016: INSPORT+ Kick Off in Prato
Kick-Off of INSPORT + in Prato
On 30 March 2016, the city of Prato hosted the official launch of the INSPORT+ project, including representatives from 10 partner organisations of the project across 9 European countries and over 12 local associations.
Associations gathered under the leadership of Aurora, an NGO born in 1994 from the idea of volunteers, including doctors, therapists, clients and their families, to create opportunities and spaces for people with mental health disorders to socialise, mostly through sport. Football, volleyball, gymnastics, trekking and, as of 2011, rugby (with its very own Invictus team), have been the main sporting activities promoted by the association. Aurora also encourages other social activities within Fuori di Pizza, a restaurant run by clients and hosting various events throughout the year (photo exhibitions, conferences, tango lessons, among others).
Partners representing mental health associations, public bodies, and NGOs from the 9 locations in the project, including Prato, engaged in a series of workshops and seminars led by experts in the fields of mental health and sport over the first 2 days.
The 12 associations from Prato joined INSPORT+ partners to hear about and exchange thoughts on local experts’ testimonials on the state of mental health and the role that sport plays in improving the conditions of people with mental health conditions in Prato. An issue of discussion was also the Territorial Pacts for Mental Health, a means for creating an integrated path for health and socio-assistance services involving public authorities, institutions and generally all people working for promoting the well-being of people suffering from mental disorders.
The project kick-off also stimulated a round of lively interactive sessions led by the Società Italiana di Mentoring, where participants discussed and learned about the distinct roles of mentoring, tutoring, and coaching in everyday life whilst reflecting and discussing on the role of mentoring in supporting sport and physical activity for people with mental disabilities.
The opening of the project on the 30th and the 31st of March took place at the Magnolfi theatre, an iconic cultural venue and former convent near Prato’s city centre; the indoors sessions were followed by site visits to show sport activities for people with mental disabilities organised in Prato province (footbal sessions of Atletic Nadir, riding horse of Cavalli e Carrozze, rugby in the match between the Prato Academy and the guys of Invictus, Aurora’s team, at Chersoni stadium. The day closed with a popular street demonstration event, where the INSPORT+ delegation capitalised their visit by joining a flash-mob organised by Prato Municipality together with Aurora and local partners.
The flash mob followed the street band of the school “G.B. Mazzoni” in the city’s main squares until the Municipal School of Music “Giuseppe Verdi”, where a final concert was held.
The final day was dedicated to visiting the ANFFAS centre, seat of the National Association of Families of People with Intellectual and/or Relational Disabilities , where the European partners were introduced to ANFFAS work, to the people receiving its assistance and participated in a lesson of danceability run by the association Rotelle Attive.