Sport, whether in teams or individual, has been a fundamental part of life at the International School of Florence since the school began in the 1950s. Today, after some challenging years with Covid, we are pushing this tradition even further with our Cinghiali Sports Program.
Since restrictions were lifted, we have once again resumed our sporting activities and are building active partnerships with other international schools in Italy. Our students have so far traveled to Turin, Rome, Milan, Genoa, Padua and Verona. We have also hosted several friendly fixtures here in Florence. Both home and away fixtures represent a great experience for our students to socialize, interact and learn from peers in the name of sportsmanship and healthy competitiveness.
“I grew up in Italy in the Nineties, during a golden age of team sports. Not a phone in sight, the best fashion style ever and fluffy hairdos everywhere! The national teams were amongst the top in football, basketball, volleyball and water polo, and every kid was dreaming of becoming a pro,” explains Stefano Frigerio, Competitive Sports Coordinator + Physical Education Teacher at ISF. “I grew up playing basketball, but some of my most vivid memories from those years were formed during a handball tournament. My school team reached the regional final, propelled by a tall kid from Lake Como that you should know by now. Anyone who has played sports will recognize the familiar feeling of heading into a game: a mix of nerves and excitement, no matter whether it is the World Cup Final or street soccer. Competitive games build character, develop sportsmanship and resilience and many other important values that help students navigate life.”
ISF has set the ambitious goal of adding new sports during every trimester. Football, basketball, volleyball and cross-country set the tone, and at the beginning of the second trimester they were followed by tennis, padel teams and flag football, a sport that is growing in popularity in the US as a coed, non-contact version of American football. For the next trimester, the first boys’ volleyball team is in the works as well as a beach volleyball team.
To help develop the finest young athletes on and off the field, ISF brings in some of the best experts in their fields and strives for collaboration with the finest professional teams in Florence. Lorenzo Crocetti, former pro footballer for Fiorentina, joined the ISF team as coach for the High School and the Middle School boys’ team, and has been doing a terrific job in developing our players both on and off the field. They also joined forces with Pallacanestro Firenze for the Girls’ Basketball team and with the Guelfi, the American football team in Florence, which won the Italian league last year.
The development of the sports program has received positive feedback from both students and parents. Active students make for great learners and the school greatly values the impact of daily physical activity on the students’ growth as individuals, their overall wellbeing and academic results.