The basketball player from Schio: “In the summer we will go there to train technicians who will teach them how to play and give them hope for a better life”. Fundraising is underway
Dream beaches, breathtaking views, crystalline seas. It is the face of Madagascar that we know best. Behind it is one of the poorest countries on the planet, where 80% of the population lives on less than 2 dollars a day, heavily affected by climate change. Drought, malnutrition, lack of drinking water are problems with which the Malagasy, especially in the south, have to deal with on a daily basis. It is here that Giorgia Sottana, symbol basketball player of the Famila Schio champion of Italy, wants to play her next game. Anyone who follows her on social media, has read her books or heard her talk about the numerous events she participates in, knows well that Sottana, captain of the national team for many years, is a person of depth even off the playing field.
His new goal? To create a sports center in the city of Tulear, in a very disadvantaged area in the south of the country, to improve the living conditions of local children and teenagers through sport. “I owe a lot to basketball, both personally and in relationships. It has given me a structure and values, such as respect and sacrifice, which I consider fundamental in a person’s life. At this stage in my career, it’s time to give back. I would like to be able to pass all this, even a small part, to someone else. I already do it every summer, hosting dozens of boys and girls in my Lido delle Nazioni camp, who have fun and grow up playing basketball. However, my dream has always been to be able to do it outside Europe, in countries that really need it”.
Why the choice of Madagascar?
“I know the guys from Aid4Mada, a non-profit organization from Vicenza that has been operating in that country since 2012 and already has many projects in the Tulear area: they have opened a school and built many infrastructural works, including drinking water wells. In this period, they are providing local families with gas stoves to heat food in place of the traditional bonfires, which – in addition to being toxic – have often caused terrible fires”.
What prompted you to get involved?
“I got involved with a friend, Mattia Bernardinello, a mini-basketball instructor. The idea is to expand the association’s activity also in the sports arena, because we believe it can have a positive influence on the lives of the young people of those territories: often they have no other incentives outside of school and this pushes them towards street and crime. We want to start working with children, to pass on the values of sport to them from an early age: we will try to create a generation that can carry them forward”.
What is the project about?
“We want to create a playing field, changing rooms, bathrooms and a canteen so that – at the end of training – the children can have a meal: it is essential to attract them with food, given the scarcity. This summer we will go there and train at least a couple of coaches, to whom we will teach the basics of basketball, so that they are autonomous during the year and carry on the project even without us, who we will follow remotely”.
Who can contribute?
“All. We have opened a fundraiser to be able to carry out these works and anyone can help, even minimally, by connecting to the page https://www.aid4mada.org/progetti/play-4-mada/. I’m very happy to throw myself into this project, even though I know it won’t be an easy undertaking: I’ve never been to Madagascar and I can’t wait to go there, I really have no idea what to expect”.
December 5, 2022 (change December 5, 2022 | 23:37)
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