An Inter Campus delegation made up of coaches Roberto Redaelli and Davide Lubes recently visited two centres in Dupnitsa and Banya. Our second visit of the season to Bulgaria started on the eve of orthodox Easter in Dupnitsa, where training sessions take place with 40 kids from the local school. The children from similar backgrounds come from local institutions that care for those in troublesome family circumstances close to the Olga Stoyanova orphanage.
In the heart of the Balkan mountains in the small thermal village of Banya, around 50 kilometres away from Plovdiv, lies another Inter Campus project that’s been in operation for 15 years. 95 percent of the participants there are of Roma origin. A nomadic people, they’ve spent centuries partly settled and consistently discriminated against.
As for our Bulgarian Coach, Doncho, he is respected by both the younger and older children. Even though he doesn’t speak their language, Romanesh, he knows how to be understood. The Inter Campus methodology is aimed at character development, paying close attention to the motor and cognitive skills and also emotional and social aspects of life. Both on and off the pitch, there are constant calls for coexistence between different cultures and appreciation of different values.
Inter Campus operate here in Bulgaria to help different communities interact. The Romani peoples’ behaviour is often linked mainly to their love of freedom. The Nerazzurri shirt is a vehicle for integration, with no differences out on the pitch.