Born in Italy but excluded. Grew up in the streets of our cities, but without citizenship. Faces that do not have a name for the state. Young people who, on the edge of inclusion, have found in sport and in a coach the desire for social redemption, the desire to form a group and change their destiny. They are the many children of immigrants born in our country who, however, cannot have citizenship.
The faces of this postcard of an Italy divided in two are the athletes of Tam Tam Basketball, the team from Castel Volturno led by coach Massimo Antonelli which was born with the aim of giving a space to those who do not have it. Their story has become a film and at Leopolda, the conference created by Matteo Renzi, there will be as a guest the Egyptian director Mohamed Kenawi who for Al Jazeera produced the documentary in which he tells the everyday life of the team and their coach .
The trailer for Mohamed Kenawi’s Tam Tam Basketball documentary
“Rights are not a game, not even in sport” is the title of the meeting in which Antonelli and the team from Castel Volturno will tell the story, the faces, the training sessions and the daily life. Born in 2016, its mission is to collect from the street the many immigrant children who, even if they have lived in our country for years, are not recognized by the state.
Their website reads: “Tam Tam Basket is an opportunity, perhaps a dream, but it is certainly already a reality that has changed the lives of many young people from Castel Volturno”. We are talking about a difficult area, where immigration and unemployment rates are quite high. It is here that Massimo Antonelli has decided to create this space of inclusiveness with a sports style open to all.
A basketball team that, however, had been living in institutional indifference for more than three years. It was not recognized by the Federbasket and could not compete even at the regional level. The previous governments, despite the requests, had not taken charge of the matter, while President Draghi decided to intervene personally.
In a meeting held at Palazzo Chigi in recent days, the premier received Undersecretary Valentina Vezzali, Coni President Giovanni Malagò and President of the Italian Basketball Federation (Fip) Gianni Petrucci. During the meeting, the decision of the Fip to grant the Castel Volturno team a special exemption to be able to participate in the national Under 17 Excellence championship was communicated.
A piece of news that met Draghi’s enthusiasm: “I express sincere appreciation for this decision which grants this exemption to a noble reality that makes inclusion its mission, and for having shown, on the occasion, great sensitivity for civil values that also find expression in sport ».
Who dealt with it personally was the deputy of Italia Viva, Michele Anzaldi, who in a letter written for HuffPost said: “Thanks to the great generosity of coach Antonelli these children of immigrants, in a difficult situation like that of Castel Volturno, they had an incredible opportunity to avoid ending up on the road. The obtuse bureaucracy, however, has tried in every way to hinder them ».
“It took parliamentary questions, press releases, appeals from sports and civil society personalities, articles in the foreign press, in addition to the appeals and legal costs incurred, to try to make the top leaders of sport think”, added Anzaldi.
Furthermore, the deputy hopes that the derogation reserved for the children of the Tam Tam of Castel Volturno will become “a right for all children born in Italy and who attend Italian schools”
Meanwhile, on the team’s Facebook profile, the decision is exulted: «We can finally get back on the pitch and make sense of all the effort in the gym (and beyond). We are witnesses of a situation in which there are many young people. Our battle continues ».