Another time when Summer was again approaching I proposed to organize a mini soccer tournament in the outdoor square where we go and play after school.
It was a gaunt open space made of asphalt on the back of the Flaminio Stadium. Whether it was winter or spring or summer we would gather there with soccer balls and bikes and randomly play throughout the year.
At that time soccer was for the most an on the street event, we did not have green fields with goal doors and white stripes. Also at that time there was no such thing as mini soccer. Only many years later it became a main activity all throughout Europe to play in mini soccer courts both indoor and outdoor.
My proposal was again rejected with laughter from the small group with whom I shared such an idea.
The joy I felt about this idea and its potential crystallization gave me the determination to go through with it.
I went and visited with my grandfather again, in the back of my condominium and shared with him the idea.
I asked if he could build two mini soccer goal doors and I gave him the measurements I was visualizing.
Once again he was very excited about the idea and he started to work on it right away.
I then went home and pulled out an old typewriter and started to type the “Rules and Regulations of the First Flaminio mini Soccer Tournament.” After several hours of trial and error I was finally satisfied with the document. I went to a nearby printer shop and printed about 30 copies. Then with my bike I went in every corner of the Flaminio area and distributed the flyer with dates and enrollment information to every teenager group (each square and street had his own gang of children and teenagers).
Then I bought white paint and a football goal net which I cut in two and made two nets for the mini doors that my grand father built. With the paint I spent an entire day painting the mini soccer court lines and areas. The field was more or less the size of a basketball court.
For me it was just a joyful fun imaginative idea. I did not expect it to turn out the way it did.
The word about the tournament spread even further outside the Flaminio area and reached other teenager groups. In less than a week I had 15 teams of 8 kids each enrolled for the Tournament.
It was the end of June when the Tournament started.
Every night for the next two weeks our outdoor asphalt playground would be packed with about one hundred passionate young soccer players. Also other kids, girls and adults from other suburban areas would come to watch the games, play guitars or simply enjoy the outdoor events which would last until late at night. The kids that before were before laughing at me about my idea, started to get very excited and all started to help and be part of the process.
It was a very exciting turn out and later I learned that the FLAMINIO TORNAMENT continued through the years even when I was not there anymore.