Opening Cerimony 32nd edition

Matera, June 17, 2024 – With great enthusiasm and participation, the city of Matera hosted the opening ceremony of the 32nd edition of “Minibasket in Piazza.” This event, which combines sports, culture, and community, saw all 48 teams come together, ready to embark on an unforgettable experience of minibasket, fraternity, and sharing.

The day began with the traditional visit to the Carro Trionfale of Madonna della Bruna, thanks to the collaboration with the Festa della Bruna Committee. Each year, the participants are the first to see the new Carro, a symbol of devotion and tradition for the city of Matera. The athletes, along with their coaches and families, had the opportunity to admire this extraordinary float up close, an artistic masterpiece created annually for the patronal feast of Madonna della Bruna.

Following this, a colorful and joyous parade wound through the streets of the city, led by the marching band and “Felix,” the mascot of Pielle Matera. The young participants, accompanied by music, flags, banners, and applause from citizens and tourists, marched through the historic center. The parade was a moment of celebration and gathering, an opportunity to share enthusiasm for sports and the joy of being together.

The procession then stopped at Boschetto – Parco “Giovanni Paolo II,” where local authorities officially greeted the athletes and participants. The Archbishop of Matera-Irsina Don Pino Caiazzo, Matera’s Police Commissioner Emma Ivagnes, Lieutenant Giovanni De Bernardis of the Guardia di Finanza, the Deputy Mayor and the Culture Councillor of Matera, and the Regional Councillor for Economic Development and Labour of Basilicata Michele Casino, among other notable figures, welcomed and encouraged the young athletes. They emphasized the importance of sports as a tool for personal growth, cultural integration, and a vehicle for achieving peace.

One of the most poignant moments of the ceremony was the athletes’ pledge, delivered in the six official languages of the event. This symbolic gesture highlighted the international nature of the event and the young athletes’ commitment to uphold the values of sportsmanship: loyalty, respect, and team spirit.

The ceremony concluded with the symbolic handing over of the city keys to the children, an act that symbolizes the warm welcome and openness of the Matera community to its young guests. This gesture marked the official start of the event, inviting everyone to joyfully participate in the upcoming days of competitions and activities.

The 32nd edition of “Minibasket in Piazza” promises, as always, to be a memorable event, capable of uniting sports, culture, and friendship in the unique setting of Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage city.