The awards ceremony at the Roman Theatre was also attended by the Minister for Sport and Youth, Andrea Abodi
FLORENCE, July 6th, 2023 – Yesterday evening, the grand finale of the XXVII edition of the Menarini International Fair Play Awards was warmly greeted by over one thousand spectators at the Roman Theatre in Fiesole. The event, organised by the Menarini Fair Play Foundation and focused on the culture of fair play and respect in sport, drew to a close for the first time on this magnificent stage. Headlining the event were the winners of the 2023 edition, internationally renowned sports legends, shining examples of a healthy approach to competition, both in sporting events and life.
World-class names graced the front row of the theatre in Fiesole. Both the event’s past and present were represented on the terraces, featuring this year’s new award-winners and many Menarini Fair Play Ambassadors from previous editions. The message conveyed by the award was also underscored by the presence of the Minister for Sport and Youth, Andrea Abodi, a Fair Play Menarini International Award recipient himself in 2016.
"The Fair Play Menarini Awards has become a time-honoured event in the sporting world - a coveted award to aspire to as an athlete and manager. I can still remember how thrilled I was to receive the award in the “The Gesture of Fair Play” category in 2016 for an initiative I had proposed as President of the Lega B football where, at the end of the match, the referee gave a green card to players who had shown an outstanding sense of fair play. Respect, sporting culture and social responsibility are elements which should be a natural part of every individual’s life, starting at school. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and so it is events such as the Fair Play Awards that help shine a spotlight on the values of sport through the positive example for the younger generation of outstanding individuals who serve as its representatives and advocates. Twenty-seven editions means a lot. The event has become a tradition over time. One that is repeated and improved upon year after year. It showcases the values and experiences, in the name of loyalty and respect for the rules, that form the basis for healthy competition where overcoming your adversary goes hand in hand with personal growth and the ambition for constant improvement”, stated Andrea Abodi, Minister for Sport and Youth.
The final act of the awards ceremony, which will be broadcast this evening from 9 p.m. on Sportitalia, welcomed stars from the international sports scene. Starting with football and the iconic captain and vice-president of the Inter Milan club, Javier Zanetti, and coach, Antonio Cabrini, a former mainstay of Juventus, awarded the Paolo Rossi “Role Model” Special Prize in memory of the glorious 1982 World Cup win played alongside Paolo “Pablito” Rossi. Flying the flag for athletics was the record-breaking long-distance runner, Larissa Iapichino, gold medallist at last June’s Golden Gala, while the ever-popular Olympic swimmer, Massimiliano Rosolino, and Paralympic swimmer Giulia Ghiretti represented the very best of Italian water sports. Also present on stage were two exceptional winter sport champions, the skier, Deborah Compagnoni and the biathlete, Lisa Vittozzi. Not to mention, the fencing star, Elisa Di Francisca, volleyball coach, Alessandra Campedelli, who coached the Iranian national women’s team, plus NBA basketball star, Luis Alberto Scola Balvoa. The “Lioness” of tennis, Francesca Schiavone, and the newly appointed director of Rai Sport, Jacopo Volpi, winner of the Franco Lauro “Narrating Emotions” special prize, completed the list of new entries in the Fair Play Menarini Hall of Fame.
"After the experience of the Awards event, we are even more aware of having been part of a truly unique project”, said Anna Ravoni, Mayor of Fiesole. “An event like this, which aims to spread the message of the true essence of sport through the stories of the many athletes who are now part of our collective imagination, is an important legacy. Everyone in Fiesole is thrilled to have encountered the Fair Play Menarini International Awards along the way”.
The ceremony, presented by Lorenzo Dallari and Rachele Sangiuliano, also featured the return to the Fair Play Menarini stage of the Neri per Caso musical group, the stars of the evening exactly twenty-four years after their previous performance at the awards ceremony. The swing band Papillon opened the evening. Another notable comeback was made by Federica Pellegrini, the unrivalled heroine of Italian swimming, who was awarded the Fair Play prize in 2022, and special guest of the event, who was given a very warm welcome by the members of the public.
“The XXVII edition of the Awards has just drawn to a close but we are already looking to the future,” stated Antonello Biscini, Valeria Speroni Cardi and Ennio Troiano, Board members of the Menarini Fair Play Foundation. “In the meantime, we would like to extend a special thanks to the people of Fiesole and, above all, to the new Fair Play Menarini Ambassadors, who are shining examples of humanity and upholders of the true values of sport around the world”.
Here are the award winners and categories of the XXVII Fair Play Menarini International Awards:
- FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE, “ Sport and Life” category
- JAVIER ZANETTI, “Legendary Figure” category
- DEBORAH COMPAGNONI, “Career Fair Play” Category
- ALESSANDRA CAMPEDELLI, “Social Values of Sport” Category
- ANTONIO CABRINI, “A Role Model for Youth” Paolo Rossi Special Prize Category
- ELISA DI FRANCISCA, “Sport and Courage” Category
- GIULIA GHIRETTI, “Sport Beyond Sport” SUSTENIUM Energy and Heart Category
- LARISSA IAPICHINO, “A Smile for Life” Category
- MASSIMILIANO ROSOLINO, “Sport Promotion” Category
- LUIS ALBERTO SCOLA BALVOA, “Fair Play” Category
- LISA VITTOZZI, “Fair Play and the Environment” Category
- JACOPO VOLPI, “Narrating Emotions” Franco Lauro Special Prize Category
- MARIACLOTILDE ADOSINI, “Young Athletes” Category
- EMILIA ROSSATTI, “Young Athletes” Category
- GIORGIO PIETRO TORRISI, ““Young Athletes” Category
- GIANLUCA GENSINI, “Studio and Sport” Fiamme Gialle Special Prize Category
The following Fair Play Ambassadors also attended: