“This is an event that has entered the DNA of the Italian company. Our task is to enhance a jewel that we have the good fortune and privilege to manage, making it ever more beautiful in the eyes of the world“.
This was stated by the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sport e Salute SpA, Vito Cozzoli, during the press conference to present the 90th edition of the CSIO in Piazza di Siena in Rome, held on the green mantle of the oval of Villa Borghese which from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 May will welcome the best protagonists of international show jumping.
“One of the big news this year – explained Cozzoli – it is the elimination of the fences and the enlargement of the oval. A real “lawn without borders” with 3,500 square meters of greenery that mark an expression of sporting freedom. The same freedom – continued the President and CEO of Sport and Health – that is breathed here every day. On this grass, thousands of kids, students, families with children play, play sports in the open air and spend their free time between the Casina dell’Orologio and the Casina di Raffaello. For us at Sport e Salute this oval, like the riding track, represent more than a result achieved: they are a commitment that began years ago and will continue for a long time to come, also by virtue of the agreement signed with Rome. A commitment that focuses not only on “green”, but also on “beautiful” – continued Vito Cozzoli -. In fact, during the days of the Competition we will complete the recovery of the entire masonry of the Acqua Felice Exhibition, in correspondence with Piazzale delle Canestre, including the sculptures, the Lion, the draining canal, the marbles of the fountains, the bas-reliefs and the two wall hemicycles of the square. This is the concrete demonstration of the legacy of sporting events, which know how to drive not only direct benefits in economic terms, but also a legacy that goes far beyond the sporting aspect. It is for this reason that we at Sport e Salute are here, not only today, but 365 days a year. We are in love with this place that – he concluded –, together with the Colle Oppio Park and the Foro Italico Park, represents the triangle of Great Sporting Beauty. They are the playgrounds that Rome offers to the world as a model for sport”.
Particularly “proud” said Marco Di Paola, President of the Italian Equestrian Sports Federation which, in partnership with Sport e Salute, organizes the event. “My pride – explained the top of the FISE – it is linked not only to the international caliber of the event, but also to the fact that it is a Roman appointment and of the Romans, whom we thank because they allow us to organize a sporting moment in this beautiful monument. We wanted to demonstrate that international level sporting events and important audiences can be held ethically within a monumental asset. Together with Sport e Salute we had this vision and we managed to make it a reality”. The President of the Italian Equestrian Sports Federation then underlined the importance of ”chain of the riding track and of the youth chain. The horse is not just a sports partner – he said – but also a wonderful playmate for boys. Precisely on this aspect, with Sport and Health, we are investing many resources”.
Words of praise for the tradition and for the value assumed by the event were expressed by the Minister of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry, Francesco Lollobrigida. “Piazza di Siena is an extraordinary event, which has established itself over time – he said -. We are in the 90th edition and everyone has worked excellently to allow this sporting event to become an excellence which, I hope, can be experienced by as many people as possible. Furthermore, this event draws attention to the world of horses. There is a willingness to collaborate to bring this activity also to schools with the aim of bringing out Italian excellence” concluded Minister Lollobrigida, highlighting an understanding with his Government colleague, with responsibility for Sport and Youth, Andrea Abodi who spoke at the event through a written message.
“Piazza di Siena is a wonderful sight – wrote Abodi -, a fascinating expression of sporting life to which we will never be able to get used to due to the ancient and ever new emotions it gives us thanks also to the charm of Villa Borghese. We must help promote the enhancement of the extraordinary open-air and non-open-air sports facilities present in our capital and throughout the nation. These investments, developed and planned throughout the territory, represent a means of giving back to the community areas that can improve their condition and livability. The sports facilities – added the Minister for Sport and Youth – they are social infrastructures that can help cities in the context of urban regeneration processes”.
Also taking part in the press conference to present the 90th edition of the international horse show were the President of CONI, Giovanni Malagò, the Councilor for Local Authorities of the Lazio Region, Luisa Regimenti, the Councilor for Sport of Rome Capital, Alessandro Onorato and his colleague with responsibility for the Environment, Sabrina Alfonsi.