Diving and Handicap
The association DDI Italy is present in 15 Italian cities, the association collaborates with 24 diving schools and 20 associations.
It already has 40 people with disabilities + 200 disabled participants in the “No Barrier Tour” (free trials on national territory) among her course participants; at the same time, it trains more than 150 instructors for disabled divers at the national level.
DDI Italy’s mission is to:
- Offer and promote access to a wonderful passion (diving) regardless of the – individual’s disability condition and foster friendship between people;
- Train 152 new instructors by empowering them to teach this sport to hundreds of disabled people across the country;
- Purchase some of the equipment necessary to achieve the project objectives;
- Foster the creation of a cross-disciplinary communication and collaboration network between associations in the area;
- Ensure the sustainability of the project;
The project supported by the Decathlon Foundation provides for the involvement of decathletes from 19 Italian Decathlon stores.
Luigi, tells us the genesis of his involvement with this association and the significant moments shared between the association and the beneficiaries.
“I started my experience at DDI Italy about four years ago, a little to enrich my knowledge as a diving instructor and a little out of personal curiosity. At first, I didn’t have a lot of expectations, but a lot of curiosity about discovering a world that for me was foreign … disability.
Over time and during the lessons in the pool, I got to know the environment, the people and the young people who came every week to attend the course, each with their own personal history and specific problems.
This is how I started to enter a whirlwind of emotions that hardly a person normally feels in life; it is impossible for me to describe the joy of seeing a boy dive into the pool with all these things on him, to describe the feeling of satisfaction that shows through his eyes at the end of the lesson.
As a DDI instructor and project manager in the company, I played an active role throughout the duration of the project. I participated every week in active training. I took care of the coordination part between the diving schools and the local Decathlon referents, who in turn used in the different cities as Decathlon reference points .
I understood that during these moments in the swimming pool, these people live emotions and sensations which lead them to move away from their daily life to enter a world made of joy, entertainment, concentration, physical training, but especially of cohabitation, aggregation and sharing. This is how I thought about the Decathlon Foundation and how to do something that could bring these emotions to life for as many people as possible. “
Luigi, at the time of the presentation of the leader on this project in the Decathlon Cinisello store in Milan and today Project Leader of the Fenc’it brand at Decathlon.