Meet Roberto – the ambassador of our project in Italy!

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The MEMTRAIN project is not only about big ideas, intensive exchange of know-how and impact on the Europen level. It is also about the small things and about the creative individuals who are to be found behind the best project ideas.

Take an example from Roberto Rinaldi, president of UISP Cirie Settimo Chivasso – partner of the MEMTRAIN project.

Agnieszka Bialas, the project manager from Gdynia Sports Centre, took the opportunity of the Joint Staff Training Event which took place in Gdynia in summer, to interview Roberto (not only) about the project.

A: Why did you decided to take part in the MEMTRAIN project?

R: I decided to take part in the MEMTRAIN project because the aim of the project is perfectly in line with the vocation and the objectives of my association and because the project matches my personal interests.

A: You are currently retired but did you have anything to do with sport at your work?     

R: I am an electronic engineer and during my working life my last position was Marketing Manager in a big company, so, nothing to do with sport. My interest with sport comes from my private life: I have practiced several  sports during all my life.

A: You have a lot of energy and good spirit. Where do you get it from?

R: Probably the fact of continuing practicing sports and managing a sports association prevents me from the relax and decreasing energy that usually come when becoming aged.

A: Do you train your brain and body? Do you see any results?     

R: I train my brain constantly because managing a big association implies facing and solving complex problems. In addition every day I play at least one hour at the on line game Ruzzle (level 36). I train my body practicing at least 2 times per week swimming, trekking or Nordic walking. The result is not decreasing the physical and mental capabilities.

A: Why are the physical trainings and memory games so important for seniors? Why is it necessary to implement projects such as MEMTRAIN?

R: Becoming aged, a natural decline of the physical and mental capabilities necessarily occurs. Scientific evidences prove that practicing physical activities, along with a healthy eating, aids to prevent and limit such decline. The MEMTRAIN project endorses this concept and in addition has the goal to demonstrate that sports has a positive effect also on the brain functions. So, projects like MEMTRAIN are important and necessary to give to all the European citizens tools to improve their quality of life.

A: Did you encourage your wife to participate in MEMTRAIN?

R: I did not spend a great effort to encourage my wife to participate in the MEMTRAIN project because this project is in line with her mind and objectives.

A: What are you currently doing? What are your plans for near future?

R: I currently manage the Comitato UISP Ciriè Settimo Chivasso, a body with 16000 members, and in addition I am a Member of the Board of Novacoop, a big enterprise of large-scale retail trade, with annual revenue of 1 Billion euros. I do not plan any change in the next three years.

A: Have you taken part in similar projects before?

R: From 2007 my association participates in European financed projects. We managed 6 projects as a beneficiary and participated as a partner in one project, MEMTRAIN. All the 6 projects focused on sport, primarily used as a tool for integration and social inclusion.

A: How does the physical activity in Italy look like?

R: In Italy (2015) the percentage of sedentary persons, i.e. not practicing any kind of sport or physical activity is very high: 39,9%, one of the highest in Europe. This percentage is even 55% if we consider the age over 55. There is a lot to do to improve the situation and UISP works hard in this direction.