I would like to stress that Seniors are not respected enough in Italy. I start with a practical example. The most recent event dedicated to the seniors is “Festival over 60”, held in Palazzo del Turismo (Tourism Hall) in Riccione* from 14th to 22nd of July 2012. As known, all doctors recommend the elderly not to go outside during the warmest time of the day (1 pm to 5 pm) for obvious health reasons. However in Riccione matches took place starting at 2pm. As it happens, the air-conditioning in the playing room was broken -and never repaired- thus players were in prohibitive conditions given their age.
Thus I think period of the year, times, location, calendar, and even name should be changed.
Period of the year. This event should be moved forward 40 days, for obvious climatic reasons.
Times. Because of the physical conditions of 60-year-old athletes I think we should avoid the warmest times of the day.
Location. During the summer, Riccione is a very busy and noisy place, dedicated to young people on holidays. It does not provide a quiet and relaxing environment for over 60s.
Calendar. This event starts with mixed teams and pairs competitions, then individual, then open teams and pairs. On the contrary, I think the individuals should be held first, so players involved in both mixed and open competitions do not waste two days. You have to remember that this Festival is very expensive for athletes (100 or more Euros a day) and over 60s are mostly pensioners. For us pensioners this is a lot of money, and many leave after the mixed competitions also for economical reasons
I think being particularly attentive to costs and climatic conditions is something we owe to mature players.
Name. This is an important and professional competition. Why is it named “Festival”? It should be called “Over 60 National Championships”, since the winner is “Italian Champion” and not “Festival Champion”, as if it was a secondary event.
I rest my case in favour of this category I belong to, and I hope the new President Gianni Medugno (whom I watched grow both as a person and as a player) will take my opinion into account
(Translated by Laura Cecilia Porro)
*Translator’s note: Riccione is a town in Emilia Romagna, Northern Italy.
August 1, 2012