My name is Massimo Antonelli, and I have dedicated my life to basketball, first as a player and now as a coach. Together, my partners and I have founded the non-profit association Tam Tam Basketball to generate a positive influence on the lives of the kids and on the development of the immigrant community with particular attention to social inclusion.
We want to offer young kids in need the opportunity to be involved in recreational sports for free. We also want to offer the kids free group and individual therapy.
Tam Tam Basketball was born from its founders’ passion of basketball. Most of our volunteers are all former players who wish to spread their passion to new generations. In the United States, there is a similar organization called “Giving Back Philosophy.” Basketball had an amazing influence on us growing up and we want to give back to the community.
Our organization lies in Castel Volturno, a 10 kilometer strip of coastline on the shore of Campania, Italy. Castel Volturno is a city with social struggles. It has the highest rate of non-EU citizens in Italy, most of which came from African countries and find it difficult to assimilate. Tam Tam helps the children of this poor African community who would otherwise not be able to practice sports.
Why Castel Volturno
The Village Coppola was originally designed to be a vacation spot for Neapolitans but shut down after the earthquake of Irpinia in 1980 and the two Bradyseisms in Pozzuoli in 1978 and 1983. Since then, it has become a refuge for displaced migrants who occupy the abandoned buildings, most of which are at risk of collapsing.
Over time the beautiful nature of these places was tarnished by human action, and now there is a strong presence of criminal organization that heavily affects the lives of locals: in Castel Volturno it’s never been easy for kids to play sports as a way of escape.
Right to dunk: a story of passion and participation
Our story has generated an extraordinary social movement and has been followed by passion from both national and international media, so much so that the Italian Parliament approved this law ad hoc.
Excerpt from the law of December 27 2017 Art. 1 Subsection 369, also known as the “Save Tam Tam Basketball Rule”
In order to allow the full and effective exercise of the right to practice sports referred to in letter e) “to guarantee the right to practice sports, which is an unsurpassable form of developing personalities for minors, through the creation of awareness campaigns”
Even if they are not in compliance with the rules on entry and stay, minors from third countries who have been registered for at least one year in the Italian school system can be registered with companies or associations affiliated with national sports federations, to associated sports disciplines and promotion bodies, and also to the Paralympics.
Today, on account of this law, over 80000 children of any race or color can practice any sport without limitations.