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New horizons for the future of the Forum in Reggio Emilia 


The International Forum of Panathlon International on the "Charter of Duties of Parents in Sport ended brilliantly. The day was initiated and coordinated by Past President Giacomo Santini, who introduced the guests, Pierre Zappelli (International President), Paul Standaert (International Board Member), Julie Vollertsen (volleyball player and Olympic silver medalist with the US in 1984), Leopoldo Melli (President of the Foundation Sport Reggio Emilia) and Ario Federici (Professor at University of Urbino).

The Forum began with the greeting of the Councilor for Sports of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia, Rozzi, who, after having stressed the importance of education of parents that play a key role in the growth of young people, expressed the hope that the value and role of the Charter will also be recognized by those who govern the sport in Italy. Then, International Board Member Paul Standaert intervened, bringing the experience of the Belgian district illustrating the steps taken by the Belgian Federation of Gymnastics, starting with the adoption of a code of ethics particularly inspired to fundamental values of Panathlon.

It was the turn of the spouses Julie Vollertsen and Leopoldo Melli, parents of Nicoló, who contributed to the debate as testimonials of exception. In addition to remember that the "occupation" of parents today is the most difficult job in the world, both have underlined the importance of sport as a social aggregator of excellence, emphasizing the value of the defeat as a spur to improve and achieve excellence. Moreover, the sport is not everything in the lives of our young people; teaching and school maintain the centrality of our social system. Italy on this subject differs profoundly from the US system, where the sport is not in conflict with the school, but instead becomes a primary element in the evaluation system of the student, integrating and combining educational achievement with the sports one.

The forum continued with Professor Ario Federici who entertained the audience with a lecture on "parental awareness pedagogy." All the basic values of the Charter were declined under the sociological, educational and emotional profiles. Many of the issues discussed, accompanied by a meaningful presentation that impressed those present for the strength of the content and message. Federici has pointed the finger at the contradictory attitude of parents who, despite having the constitutional duty to educate their children, inevitably delegate to others (primarily school and sport) this task, but then they do not recognize the corrective power of third party representatives, but indeed opposing them, sometimes violently. This raises the need to educate the family to take informed decisions. In this, the Charter is an original and indispensable instrument for the guidance of those parents who have realized the importance of sports culture. Federici ended his speech with a sentence that will remain in the memory of the participants: "the real sports education subject is the formation of happiness."

The work, ably coordinated by past president Giacomo Santini, continued with the testimony of the Panathlon Club of Naples, Pavia, Messina, Lisbon and Carrara-Massa on initiatives undertaken at the local level, for the promotion of the Charter.

The prefect of Reggio Emilia, dr. Raffaele Ruberto, spoke at the conclusion of the Forum, who stressed not only the importance of sport in the education of young people, but the principles brought by the Charter, sharing its content, and approving with enthusiasm the activities promoted by Panathlon International.



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International Forum "Charter of Duties of Parents in Sport" Reggio Emilia April 8, 2017
XII Pan-American Congress 26 28 October 2017

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