Fisdir Ski Race Cup is underway, a social project that embraces sport and disability

Everything is ready for the first Fisdir Ski Race Cup, an exciting adventure that combines concreteness with a passion for alpine skiing and the mission of accompanying intellectually disabled people towards integration into society. This extraordinary national circuit, dedicated to athletes with intellectual disabilities, is the result of an unprecedented collaboration between the Fisdir Ski Race Cup Organizing Committee and the Italian Paralympic Sports Federation of Relational Intellectuals (Fisdir). It is a tangible example of how the private and public worlds can come together to fill important gaps in the sporting landscape. The Fisdir Ski Race Cup was born from the idea that, for an intellectually disabled person, alpine skiing is an extraordinary tool for creating positive energy: autonomy, skills and self-esteem useful in sport and in life. The “Intellectually Impaired Revolution”, this is the slogan that will accompany the route of the Ski Race Cup, the Fisdir national alpine skiing circuit.

“This initiative aims to make the world of alpine skiing better for athletes with intellectual disabilities, but more generally to support and evolve the sporting activity of these athletes. Sport represents for them an incredible (rare and precious) opportunity for social affirmation. The benefits are not limited to athletes alone, but extend to our entire society, allowing us to see in them people who, despite the difficulties, can do it. I like to believe in a society that is no longer just “inclusive”, but ” integrated”, where able-bodied, physically disabled and intellectually disabled people coexist and which requires everyone’s contribution”, explained Roberto Maestroni, president of the Fisdir Ski Race Cup Circuit Organizing Committee.

The spark that ignited this initiative came from the lack of opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities in the context of alpine skiing. Thanks to the success of the first event at Passo del Tonale in February 2023, associations and private citizens from Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, Piedmont, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Trentino Alto Adige gave life to the Organizing Committee, thus leading to the creation of the national circuit. The Fisdir Ski Race Cup is much more than a sporting competition. A journey that began on 20-21 January 2024 in Sestriere (TO) and which passes through places such as Tarvisio (UD), Folgaria (TN) and will culminate in the grand finale at Passo del Tonale (BS) on 23-24 March 2024. Each meeting (a name coined by athletics to attribute greater importance than a single race or stage) is not just a race, but a complete experience that includes training sessions, opportunities for comparison between athletes and technicians and moments of inclusion that go beyond the track, creating a real community.

The innovative circuit format is designed to broaden the participation of athletes with intellectual disabilities, guiding them towards excellence through an informed training path. In addition to providing opportunities for competitive comparison at a national level, the circuit is a vehicle to promote not only inclusion in society, but integration into it, providing solid skills to participating athletes. The territories involved in the circuit are characterized by a strong mountain vocation and the sensitivity of the local communities. Passo del Tonale was chosen for its central position with respect to the Alps, making it easily accessible to sports clubs coming from every corner.

Starting from the dream of Rebecca Maestroni, a very young skier born with monosomy 18p syndrome, and from the first interregional Fisdir race since 2023, this circuit is now a concrete reality thanks to the commitment of families, supporters and enthusiasts. When dreams are accompanied by concreteness, they become tangible realities. The goal is to celebrate not just a sport (alpine skiing), but a movement that has created opportunities for inclusion and integration for athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Among the supporters who believed in this project we remember Guala Closures (leading company in the production of closures for spirits, wine, oil, water and other drinks), Syngroup (consultants for business efficiency), Spm (company specialized in the production of poles from slalom, slope safety and kindergarten), & Forward (consulting and training for profitable growth), Chiomenti (primary law firm with offices in Italy and abroad), Ones Media House (the media house of athletes and sports brands) , Bain & Company (a global consultancy that helps the most ambitious companies define their future) and Vanzetta & Associati (a corporate tax consultancy firm).