On 19th June, sports took the field and Matera became the stage for well-established and emerging sports activities within the event “Sport stories: gol, canestri e schiacciate (Sport stories: goals, baskets and spikes)”, the sixth step towards 19th January 2019.
Matera has always been a sports city. Evidence of it is the important national and international acknowledgements received over time, especially for the performances of the PVF Matera, which managed to redeem the whole city and bring together people sharing the passion for volleyball.
Volleyball was the protagonist of the evening theatre performance “La leggenda del pallavolista volante” with the volleball champion Andrea Zorzi. The humor of the actress Beatrice Visibelli brightened up the show that celebrated the heroic deeds of the people who supported the life and career of this myth of Italian sports.
The show evoked memories of the victories achieved by the champions of the mythical Italian national men’s team at the time, the so-called “Phenomena Generation” and we still remember them all: Paolo Tofoli, Lorenzo Bernardi, Andrea Lucchetta, Andrea Giani, Luca Cantagalli, Andrea Gardini, Roberto Masciarelli, Marco Bracci. They were led by Julio Velasco, the “philosopher-coach”. "Il pallavolista volante" dwells on victories as well as on defeats, like the ones at the Olympics in Barcellona in 1992 and in Atlanta in 1996. Actually, sports teach how to win, but also how to lose.
Moreover, basketball has always been one of the most popular sports in town; therefore, it played a key role in the large series of events planned for the day. At the Palasassi and at the sports centre in Lanera, Meo Sacchetti, the coach of the Italy National Basketball Team met the would-be champions from all over the world during the event “Minibasket in piazza” aiming at social inclusion and gathering people with a common passion for basketball. The coach then continued his tour of the city and met the young athletes of the Virtus Matera in front of the Stadium “XXI Settembre - Franco Salerno” of Matera.
Romeo Sacchetti has been an idol for many generations and not just for the people who play basketball. He has been a mentor teaching all Italian people that no victory is possible without a strong will to gain it. Equally remarkable was the opening ceremony of minibasket at “Parco del Boschetto Giovanni Paolo II": the young athletes received the keys of the city of Matera in the atmosphere cheered up with the colours typical of each nation.
The exhibition about the 120 years of activity of the FIGC (Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio) made the sports day outstanding with hundreds of supporters trying to take a photo with Roberto Mancini and Milena Bertolini, technical managers of the Italian men’s and women’s football teams, with Alessandro Costacurta, former football player and now deputy commissary of the FIGC and with the two Materan citizens Michele Uva, vice-president of UEFA, and Franco Selvaggi, world champion as a member of the Italy National Football Team in 1982.
The exhibition showcases the most important awards gained by the Italian National Teams as well as some memorabilia, thus making people relive the history of Italy through the memories of those “magic nights”.
During “Sport Stories” the famous names in team sports promoted the ideals and values that guided them sharing their emotions with the public and making significant statements. The one that still is in everyone’s heart is Roberto Mancini’s “Let’s team up as Matera has done for 2019!”.
Each sports federation dedicated the national teams’ t-shirts to Matera 2019. The t-shirts were brought around the city along with the people chosen as symbols of the event in the most popular sports places in town thanks to the hashtag #sportstories19 spread on the social media.
The curtain fell on 19th, this memorable day, with the mystical rapture by Andrea Zorzi, the ‘flying volleyball player’, and with Matera getting closer to 2019 supported by one of the key ideas for gaining victories: teamwork.