The very first the very first Subbuteo table football school board in Tunisia has been announced.
The Councillor for Sports of Ascoli, Massimiliano Brugni declared he was proud of this initiative between L’Avenir Sportif de M’saken, together with Bologna Tigers Subbuteo and Subbuteo Club Ascoli, two of the major clubs of Subbuteo table football in Italy, the sport’s leading country.
L’Avenir Sportif de M’saken (ASM) is a major sporting venture of M’saken, a Tunisian town of 55,000 inhabitants, 140 km South of the capital, Tunis.
The ASM was founded as a rugby company in 1974, but over the years it became a wider sports club, a reference point for the whole city and the district. This season it has connected with Subbuteo through Subbuteo Club Ascoli player Fayçal Rouis, a French-born with Tunisian origins. Rouis recently moved from Paris to M’saken, going from a country where the game is well known and widespread to a land where practitioners can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
It was during the Italian Cup last February that Rouis confided to the Ascoli executives what seemed an impossible dream: to open a school of Subbuteo in M’saken. At first it seemed unachievable because it is hard to open a school in suitable premises, with table football material and with the time to teach. Sometimes the passion overcomes all boundaries and breaks down every barrier, and so it is with this project, where the dream has slowly turned into a concrete project.
Rouis started looking for a place that could house lessons and has found a great supporter in ASM.
Subbuteo Club Ascoli has moved to help, with all the necessary material. The breakthrough came with the involvement of the third partner in the project, the Bologna Tigers Subbuteo. Considering the importance in terms of the spread of the game, but also socially and culturally, the Emilian President Richard Marinucci has decided to support the Subbuteo Club Ascoli and donate a decisive part of the technical equipment necessary.
Classes will begin in the coming month of May: The ASM will provide local resources, ASD Bologna Tigers Subbuteo much of the material, the ASD Subbuteo Club Ascoli the rest of the necessary material and the availability of Fayçal Rouis to teach young Tunisian Subbuteo players.
Beyond the purely sporting aspects, the initiative has a high social value, and aims to build a bridge between different cultures (albeit through a niche discipline like Subbuteo). The values of sport, friendship, solidarity and love for the Subbuteo, are the basis of this initiative, the first of its kind in the history of our beloved sport.
“We are very pleased and proud of the fact that a sports association Ascoli could contribute to such an important initiative”, said the Councillor for Sports of the City of Ascoli, Massimiliano Brugni, during the presentation of the prestigious De Carolis room of the town hall.
“In a difficult time for many verses under many points of view, our fellow citizens think to support this cause and help the growth of a school in a country where the Subbuteo is not known, probably the first school of its kind in Africa.
“Ascoli and Bologna in this respect prove to be at the forefront, not only from a sporting point of view, but also a cultural one.
“As well, in a global climate in whichb we are living, we hope to show that different cultures can still connect in friendship and convey the values of sport, solidarity, mutual understanding “.
Fayçal Rouis said the goal was not only teach table football to young Tunisians, but also and above all to give them the opportunity to travel, to meet people from other country, cultures, and to experience other ways of living.
“Subbuteo has allowed me to have an international culture, and friends all over Europe,” said Rouis.
“To the extent possible we want to give this opportunity also to many Tunisians children.”
Luigi Mozzi and Richard Marinucci, presidents respectively of Subbuteo Club Ascoli and Bologna Tigers Subbuteo, also said that sports competition was part of the goal.
“A niche discipline like ours can also help build bridges and bring down walls,” they said in a joint statement.
“For this reason we immediately joined this initiative, but we also hope to spread the word of our great sport of table football.”
(Story by Paolo Rossi, translated from the Italian by Steve Dettre)