The prestigious setting of Palazzo Estense’s Wedding Hall in Varese today hosted the closing day of the 2017/18 season Varese Basketball for Schools projects. Several initiatives have involved many students from Varese and the province, ranging from primary to secondary schools, and high schools to Milan Polytechnic.

Raffaella Demattè, Varese Basketball for Schools’ problem-solver extraordinaire, and head of ticketing and logistics at the Piazza Monte Grappa club, presented the final day at which the following also spoke: Giancarlo Ferrero, Openjobmetis Varese Basketball captain, Davide Galimberti, Mayor of Varese, Dino De Simone, Varese council member for the Environment, Wellbeing and Sport, Claudio Schena, Varese school Office sports representative and Riccardo Aceti, counsellor of the ‘We Are Basketball’ Trust and professor at Milan Polytechnic.

During the meeting, an awards ceremony was held for the successful Basketball: A School of Life project, now in its sixteenth year, which has brought about 2,000 students of all ages to PALA2A. The initiative, owing to the invaluable assistance by sponsor Intesa Sanpaolo and patronised by Varese Council, FIP, CONI and the Provincial School Office, gave students of ten schools the opportunity to meet Coach Attilio Caja’s Openjobmetis Varese players in the classroom. During the meetings, athletes from Handicap Sport Varese were also present. The youngsters were able to discover the hidden but more authentic and educational aspects of the sport – dedication, training and the continual struggle that is required in improving and achieving their goals. Sport, experienced in the gym, can thus be used in the pursuit of happiness and self-fulfilment.

The prize for the best banner displayed at PALA2A went to the ‘Sacred Heart’ Primary School in Bogno di Besozzo, while the prize for the best graphic designs went to the first year of the ‘Little England’ School in Varese.

As we have already seen in recent years, Varese Basketball’s commitment to the school front has been expanding and the doors of the club have once again opened up for the school-work exchange project, involving pupils of the third and fourth years of various schools – ‘Maria Ausiliatrice’ Sports School in Varese, ‘G. Ferraris’ Science Secondary School in Varese, ISISS ‘F. Daverio – N. Casula’ in Varese and ISIS ‘Valceresio’ in Bisuschio. The lucky students were thus able to discover how a professional sports club works in all its aspects – from the organisational side, with the technical staff of the first team and the youth sector, to PALA2A, to marketing, communication, ticketing, and event planning at the headquarters of Piazza Monte Grappa, together with all the support and advice from the staff working in the company’s offices. Valuable lessons in sports psychology and safety of sports facilities, held by professionals in the sector, also played a fundamental role.

A special mention regarding the commitment and enthusiasm shown in the work carried out at the club to develop modern social projects went to Giovanni Lora from the third year at the ‘Maria Ausiliatrice’ Science & Sports Secondary School and to Gabriele Castagna at ‘G. Ferraris’ Science Secondary School.

This year, Varese Basketball has also involved universities thanks to an inestimable collaboration with Studio Aceti. Riccardo Buratti and Marta Sciuchetti received special recognition as authors of a first level thesis in the School of Civil, Environmental and Regional Engineering at Milan Polytechnic entitled Possible engineering solutions with new uses for the opening of the west gallery sector of the Masnago Palazzetto dello Sport in Varese.

The work regarding schools, confirms once again that Varese Basketball is observant to a fundamental component of our society which educates the citizens of tomorrow. In addition, the Red & Whites club is happy and proud to have been able to attract so many young people, who were able to directly discover the charm of the sport and its values, to the world of professional basketball.