Italian Rowing’s push for global Sport development: International day of sport for development and peace

Sport is a powerful tool to strengthen social ties and promote sustainable development and peace, as well as solidarity, unity and respect for all. This spirit of solidarity has been a key element in uniting the world of rowing and bringing together teams from all across World Rowing’s Member Federations.

As part of its goals, World Rowing (WR) provides development opportunities on a regular basis for targeted Member Federations (MFs), who are identified as needing support for their crews. The aim of these development opportunities, which come in the form of training camps and events support, is to enable athletes and coaches in developing rowing federations to participate in World Rowing key events, such as World Rowing Cups, and World Rowing Championships. These opportunities also help run training camps to sustainably develop and grow the practice of the sport of rowing, offering athletes and coaches coordinated, standardised and cutting-edge training programmes to encourage them increase their performance level.

For many years now, the Italian Rowing Federation/Federazione Italiana Canottaggio (FIC) has been a valued partner to World Rowing, collaborating together to host a development training camp and offer support to athletes and coaches from developing member federations to join. Athletes have the opportunity to join the development training camp, as well as compete in the well renowned Memorial Paolo D’Aloja Regatta, an international regatta established to honour the memory of Paolo d’Aloja, President of Italian Rowing Federation in the 70’s and 80’s. The regatta is held on Lake Piediluco, which is one of the main tourist features of the Terni area; immersed in the greenery of the Umbrian hills, and will take place on 8-10 April 2022.

Due to the special environmental conditions: lack of winds and currents, and a 2 200 metre long rectangular section, the Italian Rowing Federation decided, at the end of the 70’s, to base their National Rowing Centre in Piediluco, where athletes can train all year round. The centre is also an official venue for national and international competitions.

The regatta, since its first editions, has been characterised by a good technical competitive level due to the presence of numerous Olympic and World Champions. For 2022, the Memorial Paolo d’Aloja International Regatta will be a good test for teams for the start of the international rowing season and return to competitions after a long period of non-competition due to the global pandemic.

This sustained support offered by FIC to WR shows the value and the positive role sport and physical activity play in communities and in people’s lives across the globe. The 2022 FIC/WR development training camp includes 20 athletes and six coaches/team managers from a total of nine countries from Africa, Asia and Europe. Coming together on one lake for nine days to learn from World Rowing Coaching experts, cooperate and exchange knowledge with one another and function together as one holistic team “World Rowing Development Team” regardless of race, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender or even similar competitive and professional level. This is only possible through the generous and sustained support of FIC, covering the accommodation, meals and local transport of these teams in collaboration with World Rowing and helping with the logistics and various needs of the development teams.

Sport is in a unique position to display leadership. Cooperation and team spirit bring the entire development group together; building bridges and helping change the world to be a better place. This is the power of sport and the spirit of unity and solidarity celebrated and shared by the entire rowing community.

“With the training camp in progress in Piediluco, the Italian Rowing Federation intended to make its contribution to the consolidation of the brotherhood and friendship that only sport can generate among young people.  Sport tries on every occasion to improve society and at times it succeeds, while at other times it continues to remain, despite conflicts and enmities, the only bulwark for maintaining peace among peoples.  This is why rowing Italy will continue to work ensuring friendship and solidarity through rowing to those who ask our organization for help.”

– Giuseppe Abbagnale, FIC President

This year’s regatta is set to have crews from 22 nations competing under the Italian sun in Piediluco.

World Rowing wishes the best of luck for all crews competing, and extends it thanks and congratulations for FIC for organizing yet another successful regatta.

About International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, from the website of the United Nations:

The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), which takes place annually on 6 April, presents an opportunity to recognize the positive role sport and physical activity play in communities and in people’s lives across the globe.

Sport has the power to change the world; it is a fundamental right and a powerful tool to strengthen social ties and promote sustainable development and peace, as well as solidarity and respect for all.

In recognition of sport’s broad influence, the global theme of IDSDP 2022 is, “Securing a Sustainable and Peaceful Future for All: The Contribution of Sport,” which creates an opportunity for the Day’s celebrations to promote the use of sport as a tool to advance human rights and sustainable development. Under this theme, UN Headquarters in New York will recognize the role of sport in addressing the climate crisis and will highlight actions to lower greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate against climate change.

Sport is in a unique position to display leadership, to take responsibility for its carbon footprint, engage in a climate neutral journey, incentivize action beyond the sporting sector, and play a major role in amplifying awareness among its billions of spectators, facilitators and participants at all levels. With the need for urgent action growing more dire every day, the relationship between sport and climate must be better understood and ways of developing policies and taking concrete action to help reverse the impact of climate change through sport must be communicated to as wide an audience as possible.

Today, our world faces generational challenges, from poverty and hunger, to climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than ever, we need to overcome our differences and unite as one team working together to tackle these obstacles and create a safer, more peaceful, and more sustainable future for all.