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Where judo helps young people in Naples suburbs to grow up in a supportive context


Safe Sport & Leisure ASD is a non-profit association promoting sports for local youth with educational activities that integrate healthy competition, solidarity, training and self-reflection.

This is the heart of the project in the northern suburbs of Naples we support: Safe4Scampia, a sports and self-awareness path where judo becomes the main lever in the aggregation with others and personal growth process thanks to the integration of improving one’s self-esteem initiatives.

The aim is to create a big resilient and reintegrative laboratory, where kids and young people from 6 to 18 years old can better experience the difficult reality of Scampia, moving from a reactive mode towards the social context in which they’re inserted, which brings them anger and frustration, to a proactive mode. This happens with a first acceptance of reality phase and a second one in which energies are mobilized to become actors of change with positive behaviors towards peers: a huge inner support work that leads them to grow up in every daily life sphere, to learn new tools and ways of managing themselves, others and the context.

The start point is Star Judo Club, the amateur sports association of the Maddaloni family which represents a cultural reference point for young people of the neighbourhood. Gianni Maddaloni, together with his son Pino (winner of Olympic gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics), is committed every day to help young people of different ages, genders, ethnicity, who live in disadvantaged family, social and economic conditions, educating them to legality.

It’s precisely inside and outside the Star Judo Club gym, with the support of judo masters, collaborators and volunteers from local associations that Safe4Scampia’s activities and training and mentoring courses take place: first of all the practice of judo, the sporting discipline that best conveys messages of collaboration, respect, trust and civility to young people, but also mentoring training aimed at judo masters, gym collaborators and volunteers to ensure sustainability over time to the activities foreseen by the project.

A space is dedicated to school education with a library and a storytelling and creative writing workshop where students can also approach new technologies and study peacefully: a place designed above all for those who wouldn’t have a safe space to engage in these activities.

A self-empowerment course, developed in 3 modules, gives the participants a growing self-awareness:

  • The first module “Awareness and Self-Esteem - Seeing with new eyes” aims to help children develop a better self-awareness that helps them understand how the social, relational and cultural context in which they grew up affects their behavior.
  • The second module “Manage emotions - The fuel to do and to be” wants to help boys and girls managing emotions: in the face of violence and discrimination acts, many young people tell of having acted without lucidity, as if in the throes of an impulse. The aim is to educate them by identifying emotions, helping them to manage especially negative ones.
  • The third module “Emotional and Relational Intelligence - Evolve and excel in your own environment” completes the self-knowledge and allows you to learn and evaluate the others and the context thanks to the acquisition of social intelligence: the set of “emotional intelligence”, the ability to use one’s emotions in a positive way rather than suffer them, and of “relational intelligence”, the relationship of the self with others, placing the emphasis on the relationship between them.

Safe4Scampia path ends by leaving the participants with an awareness: it’s only by facing the difficulties and the experiences of each one of us, by learning to feel good about themselves and by improving relationships with others that we can succeed in excelling.



City: Naples, Scampia district

Association: Safe Sport & Leisure ASD

Intended beneficiaries: children and adolescents

Contribution: up to € 89.000

Period: January 2021 - April 2023