Livigno, 28.09.2023 - Few things can excite a champion, even a champion of Federica Pellegrini's greatness, as much as spending time with the athletes of the future, in the desire and hope of drawing on their past experiences and succeeding in passing on important lessons for the continuation of their sporting and human growth. A concept expressed with enthusiasm by Pellegrini herself: "The first season of the Fede Academy has come to an end and I couldn't be happier and prouder. It has been a demanding but satisfying few weeks, and certainly the setting of Livigno has helped us to reconcile the hard work of the boys with new experiences, such as the adventure park or the hikes up to 3000m altitude. Next month we will return to Livigno to discuss next year's dates."
The Fede Academy project was born, therefore, from Pellegrini's strong desire to give back to young people some of the knowledge acquired in twenty years of swimming at the highest international level, and also from the intense bond that unites the Italian flag bearer at Rio 2016, and Livigno, for years the favourite destination of the former swimmer and her family. The relationship between Fede and the resort, which started more than a decade ago, has been cemented over the seasons, with the Italian champion always considering Livigno and altitude training a fundamental step in the process of approaching major appointments. A mutual esteem and affection that continued even after the retirement of the 2008 Beijing Olympic champion, who chose Livigno and the Aquagranda facility, where the ultra-modern 50-metre pool is named after her, for her new training project.
Four weeks of work, between the end of August and mid-September, dedicated to two different age groups, 7-11 years old the former and 12-18 years old the latter: a whole month of intense training and fun in the open air for all participants, enthusiastic about the chance to learn from one of the best swimmers in recent history. The daily programme included a long session in the water in the morning, always in the Aquagranda Olympic pool, under the orders of Fede and the full technical staff, led by coach Matteo Giunta. "At the end of this first season, I can say that the results obtained by the Academy have far exceeded expectations. Being in Livigno allowed us to offer a unique experience: the feedback from the families, and especially from the kids who took part in the camps, confirmed how good the work was. We are already thinking about next season and how to further expand the activities on offer. I can't wait for next season,' these are Giunta's words.
For all the young athletes, there will also be numerous outdoor activities, such as mountain hikes or the experience inside the Larix Park adventure park: moments of fun and aggregation, made unique by the beautiful nature surrounding Livigno. It was an unforgettable week for all the youngsters involved, which ended with a long-awaited internal challenge, which took place under the watchful and curious eye of the parents at the poolside. A success of participation, which will return in spring 2024 for the second edition.
All in all, a true full immersion, between sport, personal growth and team building, perfectly in line not only with Pellegrini's wishes, but also with Livigno's vision, as recalled by Luca Moretti, President of the APT: "The relationship with Federica has grown over time, and the fact that she continues to live the resort and consider it as a centre of excellence for the sport of today and of the future, is yet another testimony of the good work done so far. Sport has an enormous social and cultural value, and growing our excellence, such as the Aquagranda Olympic Preparation Centre, does not only mean being an epicentre for the lives of great champions. It also means investing in the growth of young people, and in their future well-being. An all-round vision, of which the Olympics are, at the same time, a goal and a starting point."