Also today, in the occasion of the FEI Driving Championship 2022 marathon, the ‘special’ assistance service enabled people with mobility impairments to experience the excitement of the most eagerly awaited competition.
Ferdinando Acerbi, Disability Manager of the event, developed and organised 'Fise4All' project, which for the first time was implemented at the Pratoni del Vivaro with the support of Kep Italia.
Ferdinando Acerbi is therefore facing a new life all over again. Born in Milano but based in Brescia, 56, he was a brilliant eventer until 1996. He won the silver medal at the 1986 European Young Rider Championships and took part in a World Championship and two Senior European Championships.
At one point of his life, he found himself as a skipper and diving instructor and in 2004 he risked his life due to a serious embolism during a dive in Sharm El Sheik. Since then, he has been confined to a mobility impairment. Now, by sea and land, he promotes sports culture as an effective antidote to the impairments caused by physical problems. In the meantime, he went back competing in equestrian sports, attending Rio 2016 Paralympics in para-dressage.
And after that experience he switched... to the other side, as team leader of the Italian para-dressage team in Tokyo 2021.
Now FISE offered him a new challenge and a new assignment on the occasion of the FEI World Championships at Pratoni del Vivaro. He is the ‘disability manager’ at the events.
Acerbi himself explains what it is about.
«I have been dealing with disability issues for almost twenty years now, particularly in sporting circles. Obviously not as an athlete, in the competitive period as a Paralympian, but rather for everything that concerns the reception and accommodation of people with disabilities or physical impairments of all kinds. I believe we can start right from sporting events to have results in this respect. And I’m talking about everyday life as well, and other events, whether musical or cultural... It takes is a few tricks to change the quality of life for many people».
Fise4All at Pratoni is a thrilling and emotional experience for Acerbi.
«The debut in this place is important and exciting for me, as I was born here as an eventer. I lived and grew up at the Pratoni. And for this reason I can also be a special guide: I drove those who were interested in discovering the cross country and marathon courses and something more about this beautiful sports. Aside, a reserved reception with a dedicated ticket desk has been arranged for all 'special' visitors. Their info has been collected in advance, so that they arrive directly at the reserved parking area with their personal badges. We have also made the various facilities accessible and reserved a part of the grandstand on the Posillipo arena. There are also three observation points on the cross and marathon course. Finally, a golf car service was available (five, sponsored by KEP Italia, a company that is always very active in the field of support for the disabled - ed.) with several stops inside the commercial village".
Find out about Ferdinando Acerbi HERE