The traditional week dedicated to motor and sports activities in Sophia, could not have had a better launch with the seminar organised by Sportmeet entitled, “Homo ludens: man, the player and sports.”
Last 16 May, the original theme was expounded to the students of Sophia by experts in the fields of law and history of sports, pedagogy and sociology of sports. “Time for sports: games and sports in history” was in fact the title of the discourse of Maria Aiello, lawyer and Professor of Law and Management of Sports Uniecampus of Milan. “Homo ludens: sociological elements of play” was the theme focused on by Gennaro Testa, sociologist of the Special Initiatives Study Centre of the Football Association of Coverciano (FIorence), and Professor of Anthropology and Sociology of Sports at the Florence University. “Homo ludens: man at play" was expounded by Paolo Crepaz, sports doctor and Professor of Sports Pedagogy at the IUSVE, and coordinator of the Sportsmeet Study Centre.
Sports today is the ritualised manifestation of play, it is “locomotor play (unlike symbolical games, or linguistic and luck games) that has an intrinsic motivational orientation (not related to money, visibility, social approval...) ”that seeks the individual’s interior gratification along with the sense of being capable, competitive, and able to face reality.
How much is the aspect of play expressed today in sports? How much has been sacrificed to the pure achievement of results? Is there really antagonism between these perspectives or are they complementary? Plato affirmed that - “One can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. But in the frenetic flow of daily life in society today, what role can be assigned to the dimension of play, intended as the moment for self-expression, creativity, imagination and body language? These queries were posed by Paolo Cipolli, Sportmeet President at the opening of the meeting, and which the experts conducting the seminar tried to answer. An incentive to this was given by Sophia Dean, Prof. Piero Coda in his welcoming speech, in which he also cited a page of the Scriptures which invites all to operate for a sole aim in life, as in sports.
In the afternoon, the 40 participants had the chance to concretely experience the meaning of the term “putting oneself to the test” in a workshop: “Games, and man,” conducted by Serafino Rossini, Psychopedagogist, and former Professor of Educational Sciences at the Reggio Emilia University. Knowing oneself, the effort of expressing oneself, and knowing and communicating with the other, were the effective points of reflection that stimulated the workshop participants to “play” and put into practice the precious considerations of the experts.
The climate of commitment, discovery and sharing of ideas continued throughout the seminar, during which the Sophia students were able to try their hand in the various games and sports activities proposed by the team that promotes the yearly Sports Week, within the splendid natural scenery of Loppiano.