We are looking forward to welcoming the teams of VfB Stuttgart, Benfica Lissabon, SCR Altach, FC Lugano and FC Brunnen to the 18th SAC in 10 days.
In advance we had the pleasure to interview Giulio Fortis (player of I Camaleonti, FCL Special Needs) and his mother. The 1st part of the interview with Giulio's mother can be read here.
The second part with Giulio himself will be online on Monday.
Giulio, 16 years old, is looking forward to participating in our upcoming Special Adventure Camp in June. Despite of hemiplegia he is living with since birth, he plays football since he was 5 years old. He trains in a regular football team as well as in a team for people with disabilities. In our interview, Giulio and his mother, Mara, talk about the positive impact football has in Giulio’s live.
Can you briefly introduce yourself and your child?
My name is Mara Fortis, I am Giulio's mother. I am 50 years old and I live in Balerna in the Canton of Ticino. Our son had a stroke at birth, which made him hemiplegic, a paralysis of the right side of his body. Since his birth, thanks to many different therapies and many sacrifices, we have managed to achieve a good degree of independence and self-sufficiency for his future life. He plays football, skis, swims, does gymnastics at school, obviously with some adjustments for him, and is currently starting a professional career. He is a cheerful, smiling boy. In this period, he is maturing a lot, he is no longer the child he was only a few months ago.
How long has your son been playing football? Was it difficult to find a club that would accept him? How has he been welcomed? Have there been any major challenges for him?
Our son has been playing football since he was five years old. It was not difficult to find a club that would accept him. He has always been welcomed positively by his teammates. As he grew up, he moved from the FC Chiasso to the FC Castello-Coldrerio, but he has always fitted in well in the teams. But Giulio had always and still have to make big efforts on the pitch to be appreciated and to be accepted: football has certainly been an excellent training ground for life.
Two years ago, in addition to the local club, he joined Boris Agelucci's Special Needs Team, where he discovered a completely different reality, since he was used to train with people without disabilities. Being very sensitive, he immediately felt at home in this new team. Having himself difficulties, he easily understands those of others. And the Special Needs Team welcomed him very warmly. Sometimes, he notices that his teammates have more difficulties than him and this makes him feel strong and increases his self-esteem. In the team of Castello Coldrerio, where the boys have more "ease", he sometimes has to make a lot of effort showing more than others his skills and his dedication.
Why does your son want to participate in the Special Adventure Camp? Is this the first time he has participated in a football camp/vacation? If yes, what positive things did the experience of a sports holiday bring him?
It is not the first time he participates in a camp, he did it when he was a child, but it was not a very positive experience: he found himself rather alone trying to do everything with one hand, and unfortunately the supervisors were not very prepared and not really sensitive. This has scared him, he didn’t want to go to a camp anymore. But he was very young and now his character has strengthened a bit, and certainly with the team of Special Needs it will be a different experience.
How did you parents react to the invitation to SAC, joy, fear, uncertainty?
We are very happy. If he wants to participate, it could be a great experience for him and we completely trust the CAMALEONTI Special Needs Coaches, so we are very comfortable.
What are the biggest challenges for you as parents in relation to Giulio? Does he need a lot of help in his daily life? Is the camp a welcome "break" for you as a parent?
The greatest challenges for us parents are that he can be more and more independent, that he understands life's situations, both good and bad, and that he knows how to deal with them conscientiously and coherently, always respecting others. Giulio does not need much help, a fundamental one that hasn't been solved yet is cutting food, especially meat, for the rest we are quite self-sufficient. For us parents it is not really a break, but a satisfaction that he does something on his own without us behind him. And why not, a break from the children pleases any parent!