LUBUMBASHI - “The project was born in the wake of the Treble, so you could say it was born under a good star.” These were the opening words of our interview with Gabriele Salmi on Instagram, the organisational representative of the Congolese project. His passion, emotion and enthusiasm were all clear as he looked back on the birth of Inter Campus Congo ten years ago. “After the victory in the Intercontinental Cup against TP Mazembe in Abu Dhabi, one of the most decorated sides in Africa, the idea of a project in Lubumbashi was born in a conversation with Carlotta Moratti.” With ten years having passed since that chat, the project now hosts five teams of boys and girls who, thanks to the support of their local partner ALBA Onlus, have the chance to study regularly while also carrying out the sporting activities vital for the development of any child. All in a Nerazzurri shirt.
“The Inter shirt helps children understand the importance of the Club’s values. Friendship, loyalty, respect. Thanks to this shirt they’re all aware that they’re a part of one common project, that they can reach their goals and achieve results, all while growing up and playing alongside one another. Not only that, our local coaches have grown a lot too, and these days they’ve all reached the level where they’re autonomous and independent. The transmission of knowledge from Inter’s coaches to local coaches has been constant and continuous over these years. But it hasn’t been a one-way transmission, it’s been a mutual exchange of knowledge which the Inter coaches have enjoyed too.”
Activities today are still at a standstill due to COVID-19, but in a country like Congo there are always more issues to focus on, and the country’s struggles when it comes to issues like cholera and malaria cannot be ignored. But one thing is for certain, and that’s the fact that when they return to the pitch, they’ll do so with the same enthusiasm which we saw over ten years ago when the project was born.