“It was a gaunt open space made
of asphalt on the back of the
Flaminio Stadium. Wether it was
winter or spring or summer we
would gather there with soccer balls
and bikes and randomly play
through out the year..”.
Another time when Summer was again approaching I proposed to organize a mini soccer tournament in the outdoor square where we go and play in the after school times.
It was a gaunt open space made of asphalt on the back of the Flaminio Stadium. Wether it was winter or spring or summer we would gather there with soccer balls and bikes and randomly play through out the year.
At that time soccer was for the most an on the street event, we did not have green field with goal doors and white stripes. Also at that time there was not such thing as mini soccer. Only many years later it became a main activity all through Europe to play in mini soccer courts both indoor or outdoor.
My proposal was again rejected with laughters from the small group I shared such idea.
I went and visit my grand father again on the back of my condominium and shared with him the idea.
I asked if he could build two mini soccer goals doors and I gave him the measurements I was visualizing them.
Once again he was very excited about the idea and he started to work on it right the way.
I then went home and pulled out an old type writer and started to type the “Rules and Regulations of the First Flaminio mini Soccer Tournament”. After several hours of trial and errors I was finally satisfied with the document. I went to a near by printer shop and printed about 30 copies. Then with my bike I went in every corner of the Flaminio area and distribute the flyer with dates and enrollment information to every teenagers groups (each square and street had his own gang of children and teenagers).
Then I bought white paint and a football goal net which I cut in two and made two nets for the mini doors that my grand father built. With the paint I spent an entire day painting the mini soccer court lines and areas. The field was more or less the size of a basketball field.
The words about the tournament spread even further outside the Flaminio area and reached other teenager groups. In less of a week I had 15 teams of 8 kids each enrolled to the Tournament.
It was the end of June when the Tournament started.
Every night for the next two weeks our outdoor asphalt play ground would be packed with about one hundred passionate young soccer player. Also other kids, girls and adults from other suburban areas would come to watch the games, play guitars or simply enjoying the outdoor events which would last until late at night. The kids that before were before laughing at me about my idea started to get very excited and all started to help and be part of the process.
It was a very exiting turn out and later I learned that the FLAMINIO TORMENT continued through the years even when I was not there anymore.
When we came back the group of children that were laughing at my original idea became exited about it and the next years many attempted to do the same. Fabrizio still today talk about this trip to his son and family and we both still have those two old bikes which have remained untouched after the end of the trip.