VICTIMS ARE NO LONGER ALONE

No matter how important and famous a sports figure may be, those who abuse must be punished

VICTIMS ARE NO LONGER ALONE

No matter how important and famous a sports figure may be, those who abuse must be punished

CHANGETHEGAME is the first Italian association of volunteers, registered in the National Single Register of the Third Sector, that fights against every form of sexual, emotional, and physical violence within the sports context.

The association protects and supports children and their families, women athletes, and all those who have experienced abuse during their sports careers. ChangeTheGame was founded in 2017 by Daniela Simonetti, a journalist and essayist, and Alessandra Marzari, a doctor and president of the Vero Volley Consortium, a gold star of the CONI for sports merit. The board includes lawyer Paola Puglisi and Dr. Alice Fimiani, an athlete and recent law graduate. A prestigious testimonial and board member of ChangeTheGame is Edoardo Verzotti, the 2004 world rowing champion.

Daniela Simonetti, journalist for ANSA and essayist, conceived and founded ChangeTheGame in 2017, the first Italian association against abuse in sports. Author of the investigative book ‘Impunity of the Herd: sex, lies, and omertà in the world of sports,’ published by Chiarelettere, she received the International City of Como Award with Dacia Maraini on the technical jury. Born in Taranto on July 14, 1964, Daniela Simonetti began her journalistic career in 1988 at ANSA, initially as a parliamentary journalist and later as a sports reporter.

Daniela Simonetti is a member of the Commission for the Protection of Minors of the Italian Football Federation and collaborates with the FIBS (Italian Baseball and Softball Federation), participating in the ‘Prime basi Scuola’ project aimed at 20 thousand families. Included in the 2021 list of the top 100 sports personalities of the year compiled by Mauro Berruto and Loris Gasparri, Daniela Simonetti exposed the scandal of abuse and violence in sports, wrote the first Italian toolkits for members, athlete parents, and adopted athletes by the FIGC (Italian Football Federation), and won with the CIPM (Center for the Promotion of Mediation) the competition dedicated to the theme announced by the Department of the Family of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. As part of this project, she created the first spot against abuse in sports, the trust booklet, and contributed to the training of coaches, athletes, and families.

Daniela Simonetti designed the first statistical research on the phenomenon of violence and abuse in the sports world entrusted to Nielsen with the support of Terre des Hommes, the Candido Cannavo’ Foundation for Sport, and the Vero Volley Consortium. The decisive support of the Department for Sport of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. Director of the Italian Scientific Committee, Professor Mike Hartill (Edge Hill University, Lancashire).

Author of the first podcast where abuse victims speak, titled ‘No Coach,’ she proposes a ‘red code’ for sports based on mandatory training for coaches, athletes, families, on the reform of sports justice, and on the awareness of the younger generation in recognizing abuse. In addition to collaborating internationally with the Council of Europe, FIFA, the Army of Survivors, the US Center for SafeSport, The Gymnastics Ethics Foundation (GEF), Daniela Simonetti has promoted the first Italian protocol between the Milan Prosecutor’s Office and CONI for an exchange of information aimed at exposing the phenomenon and protecting minors.

On September 29, 2023, she received the Harmony Award #StopViolence from the Municipality of Monte San Savino and the Semplicemente Donna International Award Association.

Alessandra Marzari, Golden Star CONI for Sports Merit (Golden Star CONI for Sports Merit), president of the Vero Volley Consortium, co-founder of ChangeTheGame, ambassador of San Patrignano, is a doctor at Niguarda Hospital in Milan. She has made sport and innovation the cornerstones of her professional life. From the original motto of the Vero Volley Consortium, “Sports Culture,” followed a few seasons ago by “Sport, Innovation, Social Responsibility,” now the new motto “Driven by Values” focuses directly on the importance and necessity of being inspired by values.

“I was a Taliban: I prohibited any physical contact in my youth teams. No high-fives, no hugs. However, there are many things that can be done to avoid abuses and gray areas: from having two coaches to training for coaches and players. In Serie A teams, shaking hands during substitutions is allowed. But the limits are clear. The staff is numerous, and protection comes from control. If a hug between a coach and a player lasts longer than necessary and hides something else, you see it.”
Alessandra Marzari to Elle, September 22, 2023

Always sensitive to the issue of the protection and safeguarding of children, Alessandra Marzari has brought her commitment with strength and determination to the Vero Volley Consortium. A sports organization that, in its 15 years of existence, has already demonstrated a belief in principles such as courage, foresight, resilience, loyalty, coherence, and responsibility. It is a challenge that not only President Alessandra Marzari wanted to take up but was the first to launch. The Vero Volley Consortium, always alongside ChangeTheGame, is among those sports organizations that have prioritized the protection of the psychophysical well-being of their athletes.

In September 2022, Alessandra Marzari changed the logo, maintaining continuity with its history and reinforcing its principles. The new claim will accompany the institutional and social initiatives of the Vero Volley Consortium and will guide the first teams, the youth sector, the executives, the entire activity because the entire world of the Consortium has the task of showing and demonstrating the profound meaning of being driven by values.

Fabrizia Marrone, born in 1996 in Chieti, took her first steps in sports with the Abruzzo-based team Atoms. Her first “significant” call-up to the national team dates back to the summer of 2015 when she participated in the Under 19 World Championship in Oklahoma City. From Chieti, she moved to Bussolengo to play in Serie A1, under the guidance of Enrico Obletter. In her club achievements, she already boasts Scudetti and Champions League titles. In the summer of 2017, she made her debut in the senior national team, participating in the European Championship in Bollate. In 2018, she joined the Italian expedition for the World Championship in Japan, and in 2019, she was among the flag bearers for the qualification for Tokyo 2020. Since 2020, Fabrizia has been playing for the Inox Team Saronno.

At the 2021 European Championship, Fabrizia concluded with 5 hits in 14 turns, 3 RBIs, and 12 runs scored. Her summer ended in Tokyo with 3 appearances as a pinch-runner. In 2022, she took part in the double commitment for the Italian national team, at the World Games and the European Championship.

Born on September 5, 1982, he resides in Como. Married to Francesca and father of two children.

He holds a degree in Developmental Psychology and works as a business consultant. He has previously served as a sports commentator for Eurosport and contributed to storiedisport.it.

Achievements:
– 2004: Gold medal, absolute world champion in the coxless four
– 2001: Silver medal, 2nd place in the absolute world championship in the coxless four
– 2000: Bronze medal, 3rd place in the junior world championship.

Paola Puglisi (Palermo 1966) – Lawyer since 1999, specializing in civil and sports law, and serves as a bankruptcy trustee at the Tribunal of Palermo. She is a board member of the National Fencing Academy of Naples. Appointed by the President of the Tribunal of Naples, she is a member of the Honor Jury of the National Sports Association (ANS) established under Articles 597 c.p.p. and 177 disp. att. c.p.p. She has been a member of various arbitration panels, also serving as the president. From 1992 to 1995, she collaborated with chairs of civil law, comparative private law, and comparative legal institutions at the Department of Private Law – Faculty of Law at the University of Palermo and with the chair of international law at the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Palermo. From 1996 to 1998, she practiced law at the District Advocacy of the State of Palermo. From 2003 to 2006, she held complementary teaching courses on contract law at the Faculty of Law of LUMSA, and from 2007 to 2011 on legal language and argumentative techniques at the Faculty of Law of the University of Palermo.

Our mission

Our goal is to counteract and prevent the phenomenon of physical, emotional, and sexual violence in sports through training programs, toolkits, and awareness campaigns. As the only association in Italy to offer an online format for reporting in the sports field, we assist victims in legal, sports, and psychological settings. 

Our numbers

0
REPORTS
RECEIVED
1
COACHES EXPELLED FOR VIOLENCE
1
INSTRUCTORS
SANCTIONED
1
PARTICIPATION IN EVENTS
1
MENTIONED
ARTICLES
1
TELEVISION
SERVICES

our projects

In a few years, Change The Game has allowed the emergence of the phenomenon of abuse in sports by dedicating events, developing the first training courses for coaches, athletes, and families to encourage awareness and sensitization.

The campaign ‘I’m listening to you.’ has been launched, also spread through the Telesia network. In collaboration with the CIPM (Italian Center for the Promotion of Mediation), the association won a tender from the Department for Family Policies, leading to the creation of the ‘Stop abuse in Sport’ commercial, directed by Claudio Casazza, and initiated training models for coaches, families, and athletes. ChangeTheGame has promoted and designed a Protocol signed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Milan and CONI with the aim of combating impunity and inaction. The association has created and produced ‘No Coach,’ the first Italian podcast in six episodes dedicated to abuse and violence in sports. Along with the Department for Sport, the first statistical survey on the various faces of violence in the sports context in Italy was planned, commissioned to Nielsen.

COSA VOGLIAMO FARE

Prescription for at least ten sports seasons for offenses against minors and participation of the injured party in the disciplinary proceedings

Typification of disciplinary offenses related to violence and abuse with a minimum suspension period of one year up to expulsion, evaluating each case individually

Public database with the names of those expelled and suspended for disciplinary offenses related to violence and abuse

Prohibition of resorting to plea bargaining without indictment for cases of abuse and violence

Mutual recognition of disciplinary sanctions imposed by individual Federations in Europe following offenses related to abuse and violence

Mandatory training for coaches on legal, pedagogical, and psychological issues related to minors

Obligation to submit criminal records and pending charges certificates for operators in the sports sector in direct contact with minors

Protected hearing of minors in federal prosecutor's offices for offenses related to abuse and violence

Decalogue for coaches, families, and athletes regulating the use of mobile phones and various devices, travel, supplementary lessons, transfers

Dissemination activities by institutions and sports clubs, towards users and members, providing information on different aspects of violence in the context of sports

Prescription for at least ten sports seasons for offenses against minors and participation of the injured party in the disciplinary proceedings

Typification of disciplinary offenses related to violence and abuse with a minimum suspension period of one year up to expulsion, evaluating each case individually

Public database with the names of those expelled and suspended for disciplinary offenses related to violence and abuse

Prohibition of resorting to plea bargaining without indictment for cases of abuse and violence

Mutual recognition of disciplinary sanctions imposed by individual Federations in Europe following offenses related to abuse and violence

Mandatory training for coaches on legal, pedagogical, and psychological issues related to minors

Obligation to submit criminal records and pending charges certificates for operators in the sports sector in direct contact with minors

Protected hearing of minors in federal prosecutor's offices for offenses related to abuse and violence

Decalogue for coaches, families, and athletes regulating the use of mobile phones and various devices, travel, supplementary lessons, transfers

Dissemination activities by institutions and sports clubs, towards users and members, providing information on different aspects of violence in the context of sports

Our testimonials

The voice of the gymnasts