Following the inauguration, last September 24, of a football field containing recycled rubber, the activities organized by the Siena chapter of the Italian Union of Sports for All (UISP) for the prison inmates are underway.  The field was created thanks to a collaboration between UISP and Ecopneus, one of the principal managers of end-of-life tyres in Italy, which provided the recycled rubber needed to realize the field.

A four-team football tournament was held yesterday morning that saw the participation of two teams of inmates and one team each representing UISP Siena and the city of Siena consisting of policemen and city councillors.

“It is very satisfying to follow the development of this social sports initiative, which has been promoted in collaboration with the Santo Spirito prison and the city of Siena,” said Simone Pacciani, the national vice-president of UISP.  “It is the confirmation that our commitment toward incarcerated people is recognized and rewarded by the social communities and institutions.”

“The realization of the recycled rubber football field for the inmates of Santo Spirito represents a concrete example of the circular economy, which is able to generate positive impacts at an economic, environmental and social level,” declared Giovanni Corbetta, the Director General of Ecopneus.  “This is the circular economy that Ecopneus wants to promote, by encouraging the recovery of end-of-life tyres as a material destined for new uses.  To date 37.5% of the end-of-life tyres collected by Ecopneus throughout Italy have been recycled into materials such as rubber granules and powder and steel.  Ecopneus is focusing on this sector with great conviction, with an investment in research and innovation since 2011 that has already reached 14 million euros to promote the applications of recycled rubber.”

“Sports,” underlined the Director of the Siena prison Sergio Lamontagna, “are very important for the rehabilitation of the inmates, to help them understand how this place, which is traditionally kept separate, is the contrary part of the society and city.”  The four-team tournament, which was won by one of the teams of inmates, kicks off a sports activity that will now become stable and constant.

The various proposals include a training course for football referees that will begin on February 1, and in which 15 inmates will participate.  The training will include a technical portion as well as the study of common areas, such as education in sports values.  Furthermore, on Sunday April 3, some inmates will exit from the walls of the prison to run in Vivicittà a Siena, the well-known UISP race that will be held simultaneously in dozens of cities in Italy and abroad.