The participants of the project "for an integrated football" received a surprise visit from four players from the first team and the Primavera squad yesterday afternoon during their training session at Orogel Stadium. Cristian Shpendi, Enea Pitti, Simone Abbondanza, and Gianmarco Castorri attended the training session, which was also joined by groups from Savignano and San Marino

The initiative is now in its sixth year. In 2020, it was awarded the Grassroots Awards, instituted by UEFA, and recognizes clubs operating in grassroots projects on and off the pitch. It won the special prize in the category "Best initiative on soccer and disability" "for having promoted a particular project on the theme of inclusion of young people with intellectual disabilities through soccer, thus succeeding in combining sport and social inclusion."

In the past years, the project has used experts in social-relational dynamics and FIGC-qualified instructors made available by AIAC Onlus, including Cesena-born Massimo Buratti, the association's national adviser.

"Our idea is soccer for all, offering possibilities to kids who don't have many because, even at the sports level, few realities offer alternatives. The goal is to develop a project at the territorial level and then open it up to the national level, where there are few realities like ours. The project with Cesena FC, in the way it is developed and with the contribution of the youth sector, is unique in Italy at the professional level. The AIAC considers us among the initiative's promoters and the project path. We are trying to export this idea of organized work to other realities, both professional or not. UEFA promotes integration in sport while recognizing that there are still "walls to break down," -explains Massimo Buratti, who then continues, "The difference is precisely this: the symbiosis created with the youth sector. The non-disabled kids help the kids with disabilities nurture their self-esteem and develop their game. The mirror work puts you in a position to grow and add something. What I think becomes very important for non-disabled children is their experience at the sportive level they cannot find in any other environment. Here, they find values like solidarity and helping others, which are fundamental to the growth and formation of a child. Even for children, the basic activity can be useful; it allows you to grasp the differences and understand so many aspects determined by their autonomies."