Sustainability & CSR

Partnership between IBSA & FCL Special Needs

Many people love football, but what opportunities do people with disabilities have to practice this sport? "Calcio eii" ("Football eii") - emotion, integration and inclusion - is a project set up in Canton Ticino for young people and adults with disabilities.

Starting from this year, IBSA together with Progetto Avventuno (AVV21) and FCL Special Needs have concluded a partnership agreement within the context of CSR to support young athletes with disabilities, so that they can enjoy unique experiences through playing football and other activities off the pitch. Boris Angelucci, UEFA B+ diploma holder and former player of FC Lugano and the Ticino Football Federation, is the project manager and also the trainer of the FCL Special Needs team. The team currently has 18 players who take part in various competitions, including the European Special Needs Cup.

"The atmosphere within the team is calm and relaxed. We carry out many activities in respect of the individual and play matches against 'typical' teams that are beneficial for both sides. The young people that take part have various difficulties (physical, cognitive and mental) that are balanced out by mutual support, which also offers considerable teaching opportunities for those observing them".

The project was launched in Lugano in August 2019 during the international "Football Is More" tournament, in which the "European Special Needs Cup" championship was organized for the first time. The event inspired Progetto Avventuno to work with other local associations to set up a team of adults with disabilities that had competed with other great Special Needs teams, including Manchester, Milan, Liverpool and Paris Saint Germain.

The aim of the FCL Special Needs football team is inclusion and equal opportunities for young people older than 16 with disabilities by organizing regular training sessions, friendly matches and tournaments with both league matches (teams of young people with disabilities) and inclusive matches (typical teams). The team wears the FC Lugano football top in order to raise awareness among the entire population.

Children up to 16 years old, on the other hand, are coached and supported in existing football clubs, where specific teaching and training is also offered to the teams and trainers, so that these young players are successfully included.