We have the pleasure to announce Rosaria Aiello as new ambassador of our project. Rosaria is the central forward of the Italian water polo national team “SetteRosa” and of Orizzonte Catania, in the Italian first division league. Her contribution was crucial for winning the gold medal at the 2012 European Aquatics Championships, the bronze medal at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic games and the 2017 World Aquatics Championships.

We are excited to have her on board and very thankful for her kind words:

How important do you think sport is for you? (personal goals and dreams)

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without sport. It has been fundamental in any aspect of my life.

What gives sport to you, physically and mentally? (importance of sport)

Sport helps you physically to keep your body up and active, to feel full of energy and it is fun. The great power of sport is that mentally, it helps to face life challenges at your best, always with a positive attitude. It teaches you to take initiative and risks and especially to never ever give up.

As a National team player, how does it feel to get ready for a big game?

Get ready for a game starts from the very first training and every single minute of training is precious. I was taught to train every day as if I was going to play the Olympics final the day after. We, as a team, had to imagine that there was the most powerful team in the world waiting for us and each time we prepare schemes and movements according to the individual game we are going to play.

How do you set your goals and what do you do to achieve them? (plan goals, work hard, perseverance, willing to make sacrifices etc.)

“Goal” is a team concept. We set our goals with the club, our coach and all the players together at the beginning of each season. Playing in first division for one of the strongest team in our league means playing for winning the champion title, that is the threshold! It is about how to reach goals. Work hard every single day, be always there for your team and for your teammates, make life sacrifices (in the water and outside), put aside your personal problems and put the team first. It is being there for the others, unconditionally. If you are committed and hard-working, great results and victory will come. There are no shortcuts.

Have you ever suffered a muscle injury? (feeling of not being able to sport / fear of missing out, feeling of your body letting you down)

Luckily I’ve never got a muscle injury. I think it is thanks to the great preparation and prevention before and after every training and game.

If yes, what was the treatment procedure and how fast was your recovery?

How important do you think sport is for people with disabilities?

I think it is extremely important. Surely for the feeling of inclusion. Sport is a wonderful world and being part of it can just do well and make them feel alive. Moreover, I think sport can really help people with disabilities to keep their body alive and to feel themselves motivated.

Do you know any child with some disability? (if yes, ask more more more! ? / if no, maybe you can introduce her to some patients?)

I do not know any child with disabilities. I would love to meet someone to help them face their problems and I would offer my help to anything needed. I would definitely love to offer my hand for anything.

What do you think of the mission we are supporting? (emotion works) 10.Why do you want to support this mission? (as personal as possible)

When Nefele talked to me about your mission, I got goosebumps. The feeling that someone in the world spends its life studying every day to help who’s facing a life-threatening disease was such a strong sensation. I got emotional. I felt the passion and love not only for the study and research but also for the people you guys want to help. Thinking that one day thanks to your commitment even one child (one person) might be able to heal, walk or get a better quality of life and being independent makes me eager to be part of it. I would support this project always, from any part of the world you have all my commitment. I am grateful that people like you exist and that I have met you. Thank you for all your great work.

How important is your team in your career? (The mission is an international collaboration between scientists, importance of a good team, comparison between your team and our team).

Saying crucial is not enough. Playing a team sport, every player is the link of a chain and each one of us is fundamental to keep it all together, strong and stable. If even one link of this chain is unbalanced, gets broken, damaged or lost, the chain harmony will be broken and it wouldn’t be functioning anymore. In the water, for us is really really important to support each other and feel connected, because we can be strong as individual players, but only together we are successful and we reach the goal. I believe that if a group of people works together with passion and love the natural consequence is to reach your goal and win.