(Sede del Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, 29 Aug 22) With the signature of the two presidents, Donatella Bianchi for the Cinque Terre National Park and Philip Platek Jr for Spezia Calcio club, a collaboration agreement was formalised today at a press conference between the Park Authority and the Club that has been playing in Serie A for three seasons, aimed at promoting environmental, cultural, and ethical values inspired by the principles of environmental sustainability. Its goal is to safeguard and promote the excellence of a unique territory, also involving the young generations.
For the president of the Park, Donatella Bianchi: "The Cinque Terre Park is not only an attractor of international tourism, but also an incubator of good practices and more environmental friendly life models. Thanks to the prestigious collaboration with Spezia Calcio, with whom we share an attachment to local identities and a common commitment to sustainability, we can support innovative projects, virtually widen our borders by reaching new interlocutors, to put our experience in nature and landscape conservation to good use, and to draw a guide in the path of ecological transition that can no longer be postponed."
For the president of Spezia Calcio, Philip Platek: "Spezia Calcio wants to be an expression not only of a wonderful city, but of the entire surrounding area, which attracts tourists from all over the world every year. The Cinque Terre Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an area as magnificent as it is fragile, and as a Serie A Club that can rely on a huge mouthpiece, we want to talk to young people about environmental restoration projects, about reducing impacts, about education in sport and positive lifestyles. Spezia Calcio wants to present a model and we have found in the Park the ideal partner with which to start a path aimed at territorial valorisation on the one hand and sustainability on the other, with the with the goal always focused on the new generations, who represent our future ".
Through this new agreement, the two realities, projected in the sharing of universal values expressed by the sporting challenge and the dialectic relationship between man and nature, will be engaged for the first time in a series of joint initiatives: from the spread of knowledge of the excellences safeguarded by the Park and its activities to protect biodiversity and the terraced landscape, to the planning of environmental restoration projects also aimed at reducing impacts, in line with the urgencies dictated by the climate crisis; up to the promotion of educational and recreational experiences of contact with nature to encourage an access compatible with the needs of a protected area.
Against the backdrop of the connection between psychophysical wellbeing and outdoor activities, one of the first concrete actions identified by the partnership concerns the redevelopment of some of the Park's paths, from a cultural, naturalistic and inclusive point of view, to be supported also through specific fundraising campaigns promoted by Spezia Calcio.
During the event, organised while sailing along the Protected Marine Area's coastline, on board the Cinque Terre Golfo dei Poeti Maritime Tourist Consortium's boat, the team's long-awaited third jersey was unveiled, inspired by the Cinque Terre and one of the main fundraising tools to be dedicated to environmental restoration projects in the protected area.
"We worked on a jersey that could synthesise the many ideas and ambitions we had in mind" - the words of Spezia Calcio's Chief Revenue Officer, Luca Scafati - "First of all, it had to be an expression of this magnificent territory, with its colours, its light, its energy. At the same time, we wanted it to wink at the younger generations: yellow, the universal symbol of Generation Z, today's teenagers, because one of the many objectives we have is to attract more and more young people to this sport, and together with the Park we want to talk about physical activity, the outdoors, healthy lifestyles. The new jersey will make its debut in Turin, against Juventus, and the jerseys of the starters will immediately go up for auction to support the projects chosen with great sensitivity by the Park".
The first fundraising project will be devoted to the creation of the "gateway to inclusiveness in the Park", a space for activities in nature, fully accessible to all people, on the ridge between the Cinque Terre and La Spezia, a symbol of solidarity hiking. It will concern the adaptation of the ring-route from Colle del Telegrafo to the Sanctuary of Montenero, in order to allow a wider fruition also to people with reduced mobility and visual abilities. These improvements will be dedicated to the walkability of the path, reception and communication and will be carried out in collaboration with CAI, La Spezia Mountain Rescue Service and Unione Italiana dei Ciechi e degli Ipovedenti - ONLUS-APS La Spezia (Italian Union for Blind and Visually Impaired People – ONLUS-APS La Spezia).
Among the central elements of the collaboration agreement is the bet on the younger generations, crucial for both the Park and Spezia Calcio. The bridge between these worlds will be built through the environmental education activities of the CEA, the Centre for Environmental Education of the Cinque Terre Park, which will be aimed at youth teams and will revolve around the themes of safeguarding ecosystems and biodiversity; the dissemination of positive and sustainable lifestyles; and the knowledge of the most representative routes and areas of the protected area.