“3.2 billion invested in three years to support Italian sport”

"3.2 billion invested in three years to support Italian sport"


Social plan for sport, redevelopment of territories, increase in sporting practice, major events and technological innovation. The cornerstones of the action of Sport and Health, the company controlled by the Ministry of Economy which after the 2019 reform is responsible for encouraging the development of sport in the Peninsula, were these. Declined in countless initiatives that in about three years have moved 3.2 billion. Vito Cozzoli has been president and CEO of Sport and Health since February 2020, two positions that will be split in two in the coming days by the will of the Government. (“I limit myself to using the words of football coaches, saying that teamwork and results count”).

What is the budget of these years?
Sport e Salute was a start up. Today it is the fifth best-performing public company in terms of turnover-results ratio. I believe that significant goals have been achieved that have made the sporting culture grow. We made 3.5 million Italians get off the couch and play sports. Italy used to be the fifth most sedentary country in Europe and now, as certified by the EU’s Eurobarometer, we have recovered six positions. Overcoming the pandemic and avoiding desertification of the network of collaborators of gyms, swimming pools and sports centers. If in a few weeks the parliamentary process to include Sport in the Constitution is concluded, we believe we have contributed by giving substance to this principle and enhancing the role of the 120,000 amateur clubs and associations.

In February, the “Sport for all” social plan was presented to President Sergio Mattarella.
The plan to affirm the right to sport for all is made up of a series of public actions and notices that have been opened for the first time by Third Sector entities: Inclusion, Neighborhoods, Integration, Parks, Prisons. This is the social soul of Sport and Health which until 2020 was marginal in terms of planning. Today, thanks to our policies and the synergies created with the Minister for Sport Andrea Abodi and the Department of Sport, we have broken down many barriers to accessing sports. Thanks to the notices issued to date, Sport and Health has already launched 150 sports-educational facilities, 400 sports islands in urban parks, 457 inclusive sports projects aimed at people with vulnerability and citizens with economic and social hardship, 21 projects of sports integration for foreigners and migrants and 100 physical activity centers adapted in elderly centers in Lazio. In the first months of 2023 alone, we fielded 34 million, always with rigor and transparency. I would add that from September, among others, 90 projects will be launched in prisons for adults and minors, 160 projects that will give people with frailties the opportunity to practice physical activity free of charge in the basic association network and in the third sector and 220 islands of sports in parks. Initiatives in 4,000 municipalities involving 2.5 million people also in terms of correct lifestyles and prevention.

Sport is a lever of social and urban regeneration.
And this is why we have focused a lot on schools, increasing, also thanks to the support of the Federations (from 6 to 40), up to 2 million pupils who can carry out physical activity in primary and secondary schools. And we are carrying out projects to redevelop unconventional spaces, alternatives to gyms and to recover places of degradation or illegality. It reminds me of what we did at Zen in Palermo, at Ponticelli, at San Basilio or at Colle Oppio in Rome with the skatepark overlooking the Colosseum.

Alongside the social soul, there has always been an industrial soul of Sport and Health. Is it within your attributions?
Only thanks to our industrial activities can we make social action effective. We have invested in the Italian Forum and will invest 135 million to make it alive 365 days a year. I think about our bet on the Olympic Tour. The international tennis tournaments, which improve their box-office and audience records every year, have had an impact on the territory of 490 million and allowed 40,000 children to learn about the racket. In 2022 we managed 19 international events, even outside Rome, such as the ATP Finals in Turin. A model that can also generate tourism development. Also for this reason, many municipalities have chosen us as the central purchasing body for Pnrr tenders on plants. We have become a “Consip dello Sport” and have reached the targets one month before the deadline.


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