Tam Tam Basketball, Children’s Story and Denial of Rights Turns into a Movie: The Case Reaches Leopolda

Born in Italy but excluded. We grew up on the streets of the city, but without citizenship. Those faces have no state name. Young people, who are on the verge of inclusion, in sports and in a coach, have found the desire for social liberation, the desire to form a team and change their destiny. They are the children of many immigrants born in our country who cannot have citizenship.

The faces of this two-part Italian postcard are the team of Castel Walterno, led by coach Tom Massimo Antonelli, a basketball player who was born to give space to those who do not have it. Their story has turned into a movie, and at the conference in Leopolda, produced by Matteo Renzi, guests will be Egyptian director Mohamed Kenavi, who made a documentary for Al Jazeera about the daily life of the team and their coaches.

Trailer for Mohammad Kenvi’s Tam Tam Basketball documentary


“Rights are not a sport, not even a sport” is the title of the meeting where Antonelli and Castel Walterno’s team will tell stories, faces, training sessions and daily life. Born in 2016, its goal is to collect many immigrant children from the streets, who have lived in our country for years but are not recognized by the state.

Their website reads: “Tam Tam Basket is an opportunity, perhaps a dream, but it is certainly a reality that has changed the lives of many young people since Castel Voltaro”. We are talking about a difficult area, where immigration and unemployment rates are quite high. It was here that Massimo Antonelli decided to create this place of inclusion with a sport style open to all.

A basketball team that has been living in institutional apathy for more than three years. It was not recognized by Federer Basket and could not even compete at the regional level. Previous governments, despite requests, did not take responsibility for the matter, when President Draghi decided to intervene personally.

At a recent meeting in Palazzo Chigi, the Prime Minister welcomed Under Secretary Valentina Vezali, Connie President Giovanni Malago and Italian Basketball Federation (FIP) President Gianni Petruchi. During the meeting, Fip’s decision was made to give Castel Voltaro a special discount for the team to be able to participate in the National Under-17 Excellence Championship.

A news item accompanied by Draghi’s encouragement: “I sincerely appreciate the decision to release this great reality that makes inclusion its goal, and on this occasion, to show great sensitivity to civic values ​​that play.”

The person who dealt with it personally was Michel Anzaldi, a deputy for Italia Viva, who said in a letter to Halfpost: “Thanks to the great generosity of Trainer Antonelli, these children of immigrants, in difficult situations like Castel Voltaro, have an incredible chance to avoid ending up on the road. The gross bureaucracy, however, has made every effort to stop them.

“It has tried to think of top sports leaders in addition to parliamentary questions, press releases, appeals from sports and civil society figures, articles in foreign newspapers, appeals and legal costs,” Anjaladi added.

Furthermore, the deputy hopes that Castel Walterno’s insult to the children of Tam Tam will become “a right for all children born in Italy and attending Italian schools”.

Meanwhile, on the team’s Facebook profile, the decision has been overturned: «We can finally get back on the pitch and put all the effort into the gym (and beyond). We are witnessing a situation where there are many young people. Our war continues.

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