The Words of the Chierico Family
Monza, Italy -- The ninth annual Peace Cup concluded with three significant events:
June 21: a women's volleyball tournament among four teams in the San Vittore Prison in Milan
June 22: concluding matches of an inter-ethnic football tournament among eight teams in Monza, won by the Ecuadorian team
June 28: football matches in the San Vittore Prison, in which two men's football teams played a team of prisoners.
The competitions at the prison were very significant for the young team members as well as for the UPF-Italy staff who accompanied the teams. Entering the prison compound and playing sports with both male and female inmates of San Vittore were experiences that touched the hearts and broadened the vision of all participants. This was evident in the testimonies of those who were there and in the requests by many that those events be repeated in the future.
This led to the idea to do something similar in September, on the occasion of the International Day of Peace. UPF-Italy is already planning several events for that event.
In the meantime UPF would like to thank the director and the educators of San Vittore Prison and the Progetto Liberazione in Carcere ("Liberation Project within Prison") Association.
Peace Cup 2014 started on May 17, with a press conference at the Monza Council Hall at which the trophy was displayed and the draw ceremony was held. All the team captains and players were there, along with Silvano Appiani, councillor for sports of the Municipality of Monza; Dino Dolci, former vice president of the National Association of Coaches; and Martino Cazzaniga, vice president of the Committee of Monza UISP (Italian Union of Sport for All).
Carlo Chierico, president of UPF-Monza and organizer of the local Peace Cup, said, "The practice of sports really can be an instrument of values and ideals which can be found in our daily lives as well, when one recognizes in others no longer an unknown foreigner but a friend who is met at first as a loyal opponent on the sports field for a common passion for the game."
Silvano Appiani said, "We support an event that, along with the sport, promotes the values of friendship, integration, understanding and mutual respect among people of different cultures, traditions and nationalities who are living in the same territory."
Over the next four Sundays about a hundred players, divided into eight teams, played a series of lively and interesting matches filled with athleticism. Meanwhile, a group of Tibetans held a demonstration that publicized the issue of human rights in Tibet.
The audience especially appreciated the matches on the final day. The third place of the Peace Cup tournament was won by the South American team, which beat the team from CMR50 (Center "Mamma Rita" of Monza), which for the last 50 years has been serving the poorest and the weakest.
The first place was won by the strong Ecuadorean team, which overcame the UPF-Italy team. For the first time in all the years of the Peace Cup in Italy, the victory went to a South American team, after so many first place wins by teams of young Africans.
The tournament ended with a beautiful day of celebration, with the final games, the awards ceremony, refreshments and sharing among all the players. It was attended, among others, by representatives of the municipality of Monza and Rosario Montalbano as minister of education.
Much applauded was Astutillo Malgioglio, a former Italian champion with the well-known Inter Milan football team, who had been coached by the famous Giovanni Trapattoni. Mr. Malgioglio is also an example in everyday life for his outstanding and ongoing commitment with the ERA77 Association of Piacenza.
Not everything went smoothly this year. There was a negative episode on the field that started with a quarrel between two of the teams. However, as Dino Dolci wrote: "[E]ven the sport needs education before producing education itself. It is a process that needs good teachers, good practices, such as the Peace Cup, but also needs a rather long amount of time. We have to consider that there will be difficulties and momentary setbacks as well. Those will be transformed into further motivations to do better because I believe that the unpleasant episode could become an opportunity to raise up the level of awareness and responsibility. It is obvious that we always can do better, especially in prevention and in education to sport."
Special thanks for their support of the Peace Cup go to the City of Monza, the Association La Baita Oratory of St. Joseph of Monza, the online newspaper Dialogue of Monza, the AC Monza Brianza Football 1912, the Sports Club Fiammamonza that allowed the use of the Sada stadium for the inaugural and the final matches, and the Committee Brianzolo UISP (Italian Union of Sport for All) for the help given in the organizational efforts to support the tournament with their team of referees.
On the Italian-language Peace Cup website are the scores, articles, information and pictures of the teams, in addition to press releases. A video clip made by BrianzaChannelTV, with short interviews of players and guests, can be seen on YouTube.
For more information, contact Carlo Chierico at UPF-Monza Brianza