Structures dilapidated or completely absent, facilities often many kilometers away from the places of residence of the athletes, and the high probability of finding oneself with sports facilities that are not adequate for the competitive practice of the disabled. Here, then, is the geography of sport in Pugliawith the provinces still too far from the top of the ranking, dominated by the cities of the north with Trento, Bolzano and Trieste anticipating the other 104 provinces of Italy.
The IlSole24Ore ranking
Il Sole24Ore elaborates the ranking on the basis of Pts data. 32 indicators examined and divided into four categories: sports structures, team sports, individual sports and sports and society. The competitive performances at the individual level of 2021 constitute one of the bases of the ranking just as another summer full of sporting satisfactions for Italy is about to end. This is the case of the European championships: those of athletics, in Munich, and, above all, those of swimming in Rome, where the blue athletes have achieved a number of perhaps unrepeatable successes is highlighted in the Pts. Results which, for the purposes of the Index, will only be recognized in next year’s edition. The same can be said for the record just won by Fefè De Giorgi’s national volleyball team at the 2022 Volleyball World Cup.
Yet to read the name of the first Apulian province in the ranking is the case of Bari, it is necessary to scroll the list up to the 59th place; followed by Brindisi (61st), Lecce (72nd), Taranto (87th), Barletta-Andria-Trani (94th). Finally Foggia, rear end, in 99th place.
From football to basketball, from volleyball to cycling passing through athletics, swimming, tennis, winter sports, motorsport and Paralympic sports: according to data from the 2022 Sportsmanship Index, Puglia is a decidedly more equipped for team sports, at the expense of individual ones. In this case, the province of Brindisi stands out which, thanks to its 32nd place, anticipates in the order Bari, Lecce, Bat, Taranto and Foggia, nailed to the 89th position.
Shortcomings on women’s sport
In terms of sports structures, again, the chapter of women’s sports, still lacking space and facilities in all the region, deserves further attention. And also in relation to the number of memberships to associations or teams, the athletes and players do not seem to be distributed equally throughout the territory compared to male sportsmen. If once again Bari is the first province in Puglia (66th place), paired follow Lecce (85), Bat (86) and Foggia (87); Black shirts instead for Brindisi (102) and Taranto (103).
Volleyball is doing well, a discipline that in recent years, also thanks to considerable media exposure and streaming platforms, has increased the interest of the public by increasing and fostering the appeal of volleyball. Undoubtedly, the last two successes, in the space of a year, of the Italian men’s volleyball team coached by the Salento De Giorgi, who projects Lecce to 26th place, detaching Bari (43), Taranto (45), Bat (67), Foggia (89) and Brindisi (91).
And again, also in relation to the attractiveness of national and international sporting events, much more is expected from Puglia. The numbers in the ranking say it. Certainly events such as acrobatic dives are not enough by now a fixed appointment of the competitive program such as the Red Bull Cliff Diving which are held every year in Polignano a Mare or the Lecce stage of the world beach volleyball circuit: the need to elaborate a strategy that is able to redevelop sports structures, facilities and buildings to attract prestigious competitions.
Negative trend also in the sports and children section. In many regions of the South there are fewer and fewer school gyms and fewer children playing sports: the lack of places to do activities is, in fact, only one of the many reasons why sports are not practiced in childhood. This is confirmed again by the 2022 Sportsmanship Index with the region placing its provinces too far from the podium: Bari ideal province (61st) with Bat (65), Lecce (71), Brindisi (73), Taranto (77), Foggia (91).
Finally, from the comparison with the rankings of last year, it can be seen that the only province to record progress was the province of Lecce, which from the 79th position in 2021 jumps to 72nd place in 2022. On the other hand, all the others worsen except of Taranto and Barletta-Andria-Trani which retain the same positions: 87th the first and 94th the second.
The thorny cases in Puglia: the files
THE MATINO STADIUM
The Via del Mare stadium in Matino is one of the facilities currently not accessible and this dynamic, already last year, forced Virtus Matino to play the entire Serie D championship away, sometimes even at the Heffort of Parabita and without the help of the public friend as it was a structure that could not accommodate people in the stands. A situation that generated a lot of controversy, so much so as to force the president Cristina Costantino to threaten, on several occasions, to hand over the title into the hands of the municipal administration.
This has officially happened in recent months, but the lack of a solid business group that could give continuity to Matinese football has led the owners to gather strength and continue the adventure, albeit in Excellence.
A significant passage, in the press release that the Salento club has drawn up, is reflected precisely in the paragraph dedicated to the stadium: “The works at the stadium are going on and it is hoped to return soon to their home to be able to play training sessions and matches in front of their own public and to their ultras “. At the moment, however, the home of the biancazzurri is Basurto di Racale. (by Vito Di Noi)
THE ATHLETICS TRACK IN BRINDISI
In the Brindisi area, sportsmen and athletics enthusiasts could soon have a territory with several new opportunities to practice their discipline. To draw the picture is Giacomo Leone, a Francavilla marathoner who won in New York in 1996 and who now leads the Apulian Federation, saying that he would be “widely satisfied” if a series of infrastructures were created “in the next 18-24 months” . In this period of time, infrastructures could be implemented in the provincial territory, starting from Brindisi where, for the plant named after Lucio Montanile, “the Municipality has obtained funding through the Pnrr which will allow the complete restructuring of the plant”. In Oria “the tender has already been announced and the works have been entrusted to the winning company for the renovation of the city’s sports field with an adjoining athletics track”. A project that involves the laying of a synthetic ground but also “around a ring of six lanes for all the other specialties, such as shot put, high jump, pole vault, hedges and more”. On Mesagne, Leone talks about an interview with the mayor Toni Matarrelli for the signing “of a mortgage with a sports credit to build an athletics field from scratch in the city”.
THE SWIMMING POOL IN TARANTOCopyAMP code.
There is a star who envies us all over the world, a young swimming star who, however, had to grind kilometers in the car to train or adapt his needs to the existing structures. Yes, the anomaly of the Benedetta Pilato phenomenon is just that: in Taranto, in her hometown, there is no Olympic swimming pool.
She then trained initially in Pulsano, 16 kilometers from Taranto, and then between Bari and the Ionian capital itself, waiting for something more or less imminent. A 50-meter Olympic swimming pool will be built for the 2026 Mediterranean Games to be held in the city. The organizational machine of the 2026 Mediterranean Games is already working on the masterplan for the realization of the two main projects – Olympic swimming pool and nautical center – and the adaptation of over 40 sports facilities in Taranto and in the other 20 cities involved, including Lecce. and Brindisi.
And then by 2026 Benny will have an Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool: it is estimated to complete the design of the facilities by the second half of this year and to start with construction sites in 2023. They will be finished by the end of 2025, to test and homologate them.
THE PALAZZETTO DI NARDO ‘
The new sports hall in Nardò will rise on an area of 4800 square meters, of which about 2000 will be covered. Initially 800 seats were planned, then during construction the process for the construction of the plant in via Cuoco changed. The municipal administration has in fact decided to recalibrate the technical and financial path that will lead to the construction of a structure that can be expanded to a maximum of 1,200 spectators. In the meantime, two innovations have materialized: the first is the € 700,000 loan obtained from the Municipality of Nardò as part of the Sport and suburbs call for proposals from the Department of Sport of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers; the second was the promotion (last year) of the Andrea Pasca Basketball in A2, which requires the availability of a facility with a minimum capacity of 2 thousand seats. The Neretine Administration has redesigned the road for the new building, raising the bar of its programming to adapt to that of an ambitious company like the Andrea Pasca of the patron Carlo Durante. Which will see the team led by coach Gennaro Di Carlo still play their home games in the Pala San Giuseppe da Copertino in Lecce, the home of the bull also last season after the initial hospitality in the PalaPentassuglia in Brindisi. (by Antonio Rodi)
THE POOL OF JOY
A dispute between the company that manages the municipal swimming pool and the Gioia del Colle administration, which risks not reopening the plant. A tug-of-war that has been going on for some time but which seems to have come to an end with the arrival of decisions that would penalize users above all. Adriatika Nuoto, the company that manages the plant, has made a proposal to the administration led by Giovanni Mastrangelo but the latter has already made it clear that the proposals presented will not be accepted. Indeed, the mayor is waiting to know from the managers the date of reopening of the plant and above all the tariff plan they intend to apply this year, a plan that will be evaluated to the hundredth, before being approved by the administration. The municipal technicians were instructed to carry out an inspection of the pool for some checks on the boilers. If, as mentioned, the tug-of-war will lead to total breakdown, the pool will return to the Municipality and this, however, would lead to a delay in reopening, which the Mastrangelo administration would like to avoid. But Adriatika Nuoto replied hard-nosed to Mastrangelo pointing to him with bad faith. “We are more interested in launching slogans than in finding real solutions,” the managing company said. (by Alfonso Spagnulo)
THE SWIMMING STADIUM OF BARI
An important structure, which today is half-functioning, or even less. We are talking about the Bari Swimming Stadium, where the two swimming pools, the 50-meter outdoor Olympic one, and the 35-meter indoor one, have been standing still for years. The problems of the two pools are different, and of different resolution. The external one has been closed since 2019, since before the Covid emergency, as after a series of interventions that it was hoped would be enough to solve the problems, the technicians declared the structure unusable. In June 2020, the commissioner for public works, Giuseppe Galasso, spoke of at least two years of work. In 2022 we are still at a standstill, and in the planning phase. The optimism of the early days collided with the bureaucracy and the slowness of the administrative machines. To the point that, last October, a photo was posted via social media that showed nature taking over, and flowers sprouting from the cracks of the outdoor tub. As for the internal tank, however, the situation should be simpler, as there was talk of water infiltration from the solar pavement. Despite this, however, the tank has been closed for more than a year. In March the council had approved the preliminary document for the planning of the interventions. (by Elga Montani)