They left at dawn yesterday, Tuesday, from the residence of Tina, the structure for the elderly and disabled located in the Municipality of Vestignè, with a clear goal in mind: to reach Arona, 100 kilometers away, pedaling, in tandem. The extraordinary of this adventure, between sports and social, consists of the components of the couple: Angelo Vazzana, 39, educator / coordinator of the disabled department of Tina’s residence, and Maurizio Favaretto, 65, a past as an entrepreneur that you are years ago, as a result of previous pathologies, he lost his sight, but not his passion for sport, cycling, first of all.
the initiative was scheduled for 2020
The initiative comes a year later than planned, but Covid was involved, with everything it represented. This is why the message, today, is even stronger: there is nothing that cannot be done, and nothing is prejudiced for those who are determined to reach a goal. Maurizio, undeniably, had some difficult moments and psychological support, in certain situations, was indispensable. When a visual handicap occurs, perspectives change in a radical way. You have to work on yourself, in order not to go to the bottom, and having someone next to you who knows how to listen, follows you, encourages you, motivates you is essential.
Tina’s educators, with the coordinator Vazzana and the organizers of Kinetika srl, the company in the field of personal care and assistance, represented by Andrea Argentini, immediately believed in the Tandem project. The rest was done by the protagonists of the company, Maurizio and Angelo, who began to train assiduously to arrive prepared for the event. Sport is therapeutic and the project, in the final analysis, testifies to how many and what the positive variables of work in RSA / Raf can be, where not only the primary needs of people with disabilities are satisfied, but also personal inclinations and activities devoted to social integration.
To the development of Tandem: among others, many participated: Silvia Daghetto and Danilo Saccotelli (educator and music therapist the race on a flagship) who will document it; Enrico Toninelli and Cicli “Tessiore” who donated the tandems, but also Franco Balmamion, winner of two Tours of Italy, and Alessia Refolo (athlete and Paralympic world champion) for their sporting and moral contribution.
Last Saturday, at the Allaas farmhouse, in the presence of the mayor of Bollengo, Luigi Sergio Ricca, and of professor Paolo Ghiggio, Maurizio Favaretto, originally from Salzano, near Venice, and resident for many years in Foglizzo, he told his experience, while Angelo Vazzana retraced the steps that led the couple to try their hand at the enterprise.
“Covid-19 has only slowed it down – underlined the educator -. Maurizio, in his room, continued to keep fit by riding a spin bike. Then, in April of this year, the turning point, thanks to the medical director of the residence, Alessandro Lizioli, and to Andrea Argentini, assistant to the management of the Vestignese structure, who triggered the green light. In six weeks we have completed stages of progressive length up to Viverone, Cavaglià, Borgo d’Ale and Moncrivello, with distances of 36, 42, 50, 62, 74 kilometers ».
joy upon arrival
And so we arrived yesterday, starting at 6 from Tina and arriving in Arona at 11.40, with three stops along the way and a small inconvenience, in Romagnano Sesia, where the right turn was prevented by a collapsed bridge. In Arona, a sort of reception committee welcomed Maurizio and Angelo, with Tina’s colleagues and the director Lizioli, who came from Varese. The location of the arrival area, between the station and the lakefront, also attracted many onlookers. The photographic shots, the jokes, the friendliness are inevitable. The jerseys worn by the two cyclists, signed by Balmamion as a lucky charm, appeared intact, a sign that the effort was well distributed. The Tandem project is ten and praiseworthy. To Maurizio and Angelo, the office degree for having cultivated a dream turning it into reality.