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Sport Power: athletes of today, leaders of tomorrow


Sport Power is a youth empowerment project focused on the concepts of positive leadership and youth protagonism through sport aimed at young people aged 6 to 17. It was selected by Con i Bambini as part of the Fund for the fight against child educational poverty and co-financed by Enel Cuore, the non-profit organization of the Enel Group.

Sport Power is at the starting blocks: the innovative youth empowerment project that aims to include young people who are cut off from sports circuits and to create positive role models among adolescents through leadership in sports practice. The 36-month project, inspired by the intervention model of Sport Senza Frontiere (SSF), strategically expands the educational offer of the non-profit organization and enhances the attitudes and abilities of the girls and boys involved, starting from the concept of active peer education. A project selected by Con i Bambini as part of the Fund for the fight against child educational poverty and co-financed by Enel Cuore, the non-profit organization of the Enel Group.

The intervention, which will take place in four cities - Rome, Naples, Bari and Domusnovas (Cagliari) has very specific objectives which start from the fight against inequality and child educational poverty and aim to offer learning opportunities to children and adolescents, with particular attention to those who are in a condition of disadvantage and socio-economic vulnerability. In the certainty that every child has talents and potential, the project aims to encourage the acquisition of positive leadership skills and the strengthening of basic skills, the development of interests, awareness of one's aptitudes, as well as, obviously, guaranteeing access to sport as a fundamental right. Through a territorial solidarity network made up of all those who participate responsibly in the growth of minors, Sport Power aims to promote an improvement in the health, physical and psychological well-being of the minors taken care of and involved in sports-educational activities.

After an initial period of training and identification of possible beneficiaries, the local solidarity sports network will be activated and local teams will be set up. At that point, 125 minors in conditions of socio-economic disadvantage will be included in socio-educational programs with a sporting vocation (50 in Rome, 50 in Naples and 25 between Bari and Domusnovas). Finally - and this is the real innovation - groups of teenagers will be formed to be real Sport Agents, young bearers of values linked to positive models of individual and group growth, learned through sport. They will be recruited in the 4 target cities (40 between Rome and Naples, 5 in Bari and 5 in Domusnovas). They will become actors of change and will be carefully trained, to be involved in awareness-raising activities, territorial animation and care for the little children.

“Over the years – explains Alessandro Tappa, president of Sport Senza Frontiere – we have realized how important it is that our kids, once they have developed their own sporting and social aptitude and experienced the great driving force of sport in life, become educators themselves, real Sport agents. Due to their young age, they have the ability to understand the needs of their peers or younger children, and thanks to their empathy, they can exert a positive influence on the kids around them and be an engine of change in society. With this project we can experiment with a new approach and make it systematic, giving shape to a real professional identity: no longer the classic former beneficiary who assists the newcomers, but a figure of a young activist who is trained and assumes a defined leadership”.

An important part of the project will be the creation of empowerment paths for 4 sports associations (SSF Hub), located in marginal urban areas. The SSF Hubs will host the training activities and moments of aggregation of the Sport Agents and will be responsible for the sports courses for the minors. Furthermore, in the periods between March and June 2023 and March and June 2024, the tour of the SSF Van will start, a minibus that will move along a route that will cross Rome, Naples, Domusnovas and Bari to facilitate sporting activity in public spaces that are not equipped and to carry out mini pediatric screenings thanks to the presence of qualified healthcare personnel.

“Sport is well-being, both physical and psychological, but also aggregation, social integration and the diffusion of positive values of active citizenship. Sport allows all the kids who practice it to fully express their potential by living a healthy and educational experience. The peculiarity of the Sport Power project is to make personal experience a shared value: the older kids become Sport agents, i.e. educators of the younger ones who can therefore experience a growth path together with those who have already done so - declares Filippo Rodriguez, managing director of Enel Cuore – “Enel Cuore strongly believes in these principles and this is why we decided to support an initiative that not only enhances the role of sport and well-being within our society, but strengthens the values of empowerment, positive leadership and civic and social education”.

“The project was selected by Con i Bambini as part of the Fund for the fight against child educational poverty. The Fund was born from an agreement between the foundations of banking origin represented by Acri, the National Forum of the Third Sector and the Government. It supports interventions aimed at removing the economic, social and cultural obstacles that prevent the full use of educational processes by minors. To implement the programs of the Fund, the social enterprise Con i Bambini was born in June 2016, a non-profit organization wholly owned by the Fondazione CON IL SUD”.

The initiative is supported by Enel Cuore, the non-profit organization of the Enel Group, which, in collaboration with the social enterprise Con i Bambini, disburses the economic contribution to the extent of 50% of the total budget amount. Enel Cuore has been working for years alongside Third Sector organizations rooted in the area, capable of creating shared value and guaranteeing social cohesion and the sustainability of initiatives over time.

Sport Senza Frontiere has built a network of sports and social-health collaborations in each city, following its own intervention model:

  • ASD SANSA FC (Roma) 
  • Rugby Nuovo Salario A.s.d. (Roma) 
  • Defrag associazione culturale e di promozione sociale (Roma) 
  • Associazione Sportiva Dilettantistica Big Air (Bari) 
  • Associazione sportiva dilettantistica Franco Ballerini (Bari) 
  • Occupazione e Solidarietà s.c.s cooperativa sociale (Bari) 
  • Associazione sportiva dilettantistica Nippon club (Napoli) 
  • L'Albero della Vita cooperativa sociale (Napoli) 
  • Associazione Elda Mazzocchi Scarzella (Domusnovas, Cagliari) 

Reporting bodies for the selection of beneficiaries:

  • Fondazione "Emanuela Zancan" onlus Centro Studi e Ricerca Sociale (Body responsible for impact assessment) 
  • IC 49° Toti - Borsi - Giurleo (Napoli school) 
  • IIS D. Bramante ex Sarandì (Roma school) 
  • Municipality of Bari 
  • Istituto Comprensivo Statale "F.Meloni" (Domusnovas school)

Sport Senza Frontiere (SSF) was founded in 2011 in Rome with the aim of fighting poverty and social inequality through projects that use sport as a tool for inclusion, harmonious growth and emancipation of minors at risk and/or in poverty and social marginalization. The association has experienced a significant expansion that has quickly led it to become an agent of social change active at national level, going from 15 beneficiaries in 2011 to more than 600 beneficiaries in 2022. Since 2015, SSF has began to operate permanently in all the Municipalities of Rome, in the cities of Naples, Milan, Turin, Bergamo, Trento, Spoleto, and now also Novara. In eleven years of activity, Sport Senza Frontiere has accompanied, assisted and helped hundreds of children in situations of socio-economic hardship and their families. The association makes use of important partnerships and collaborations including: UNHCR, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers - Sports Department, the Comunità di Sant'Egidio, the Faculty of Training and Education Sciences of the Roma Tre University, Sport and Health, CONI, the University of Tor Vergata in Rome, the Catholic University of Milan - Department of Higher Psychology, the Vodafone Foundation, Enel Cuore, the Fondazione CON IL SUD, the Cariplo Foundation, the Charlemagne Foundation, the Haiku Foundation, the UISP and the CSI, as well as various local institutions (Region, Municipalities, Municipalities). In 2014, the social inclusion program through sport was identified as Best Practice by CONI.