“Sport – Nicola continues to tell – helps for self-esteem and determination: it was the leitmotif of my life, I did athletics at a competitive level, and sitting down I tried skiing, fencing, then tennis and sail. Sport gives you energy and motivation, it’s a challenge and my life is made up of challenges, I have to compete: it’s good for me physically and mentally».
His passion for sailing began when he met Enrico Giannotti, president of Area51, sailing instructor for 25 years, creator and engine of the project. «We went on a boat a few times, then we found two Dreams and some 2.4 Olympic class, and we did the sailing course: he does it out of passion, because he has a big heart».
Nicola has written two books (“Always standing” and “Always standing travel diary”) and is the promoter of Suitable for carriagesan event in favor of the removal of architectural barriers which takes place in the municipality of Carrara.
«I want to convey determination and grit to people who don’t have it or think they don’t have it: because sometimes you think you don’t have the strength but instead you have to dig and in the end you find it. A trauma cannot stop a person’s life, it must be a moment of pause from which to start again, stronger than before. With trauma can be lived with, not overcome because it marks your life, it will always be part of ourselves»
Boating helps. «From the sea we are in a unique environment, from the open sea we see the Apuan Alps. Surfing the waves gives peace and serenity. The most difficult barriers are not those that exist but those that we create in our heads».
The initiative provides a series of opportunities for people of heterogeneous age groups (from teenagers to adults) identified in agreement with the territorial Aias. The instructors of the Area 51 association will organize sailing boat excursions departing from the Marina di Carrara nautical club and surfing and sup lessons at Bagno Mistral in Carrara. The courses are activated every week (once or twice, depending on the request), until July 15th, and then again in September and in October, the activities are supported by the help of volunteers.
“Last year around 45 people participated in the activities,” he explained Enrico Giannotti, president of Area 51, which today presented the 2023 activities at the Marina di Carrara nautical club. «They were able to gain direct experience of water activities and sports, but they also had the opportunity, in the autumn and winter seasons or when the weather didn’t allow for trips to the sea, to try their hand at routine maintenance of the equipment. We will do the same again this year. Sailing and surfing are fun and educational activities that promote individual and collective well-being, putting everyone on the same level”.
Satisfaction was also expressed by president of the Bernarda Franchi Marble Foundation: «Each year this initiative grows, both in terms of the number of participants and in terms of local realities involved and collaborations achieved. We are happy to follow and support the activities of the Area 51 association, which promote inclusion through open-air sport and strengthen the network between public institutions, the world of volunteering and families”.