There is a place where young talents, amateurs and champions of the middle-distance and long-distance can work out in wonderful places, accompanied by great Italian and African athletes, supported by an high level medical and physiotherapic staff, on routes where the greatest champions of the world’s athletics history have trained. It’s called Camp Tuscany and it is the brainchild of Giuseppe Giambrone, coach of the athletics Ugandan national team for middle-distance and long-distance, with the help of Professor Marco Bonifazi, sports physician, physiologist, technical coordinator at research center of the Italian Federation of Swimming, and Professor Tommaso Ticali, coach, Massimo Vincenzo’s and Anna Carmela Incerti’s trainer, vice world champion in 1999 the first and European champion in 2010 marathon the second.
« It all started in January 2014 when I leave for Kenya and Uganda. After hiringa a car in Nairobi, without knowing a word of English, I venture to Africa to discover and put into practice what until then was just a dream. Luck will help me and so during the Ugandan championships of cross country I meet the staff of the athletics national federation, the top of which is Flavio Pascalato, an Italian for many years in Uganda to work, and his wife, currently general secretary for the federation. Soon there is complete harmony and cooperation between us. Like me, they work with a lot of passion and the utmost honesty and fairness, « says Giuseppe Giambrone.
Tuscany Camp is located in the hamlet of San Rocco a Pilli, City of Sovicille, in the Province of Siena and aims to provide athletes with a complete service from the environmental, logistic-organizational, medical, psychological, physiotherapy and welfare point of view also onsite. All at subsidized rates and free of charge for the elite runners who are part of it. Besides having the opportunity to train in wild places of incomparable beauty, assisted by doctors and physiotherapists, the athletes participating in the Camp have constantly the opportunity to practice in groups with colleagues og international level and to monitor their performances through functional assessment testing, instrumental examinations, diagnostics, hematology, physiotherapy. Tuscany Camp collaborates to projects of medical and sports science research coordinated by Professor Marco Bonifazi at the University of Siena, using the clinical data of consenting athletes. Family members of the athletes can access to the Camp too: they can thus combine a holiday with their loved ones to the relax and beauty of a wonderful place like Tuscany.
The project was born from an experience of Giambrone in Uganda, specifically in Training Camp in Bukwo, a very suggestive place that gave birth to many champions. Tuscany Camp supports financially and technically the field, in order to give young talents the opportunity to show and be followed by a specialized coach onsite. Room and board are free. The goal is to give a professional future in the races for these guys.
Athletes who are currently part of the TC in Italy are twelve, including an Italian, Stefano La Rosa, who will represent Italy at the next Olympic Games in Rio marathon, two Burundian, six men and three women from Uganda. In Uganda Bukwo Camp gives home to an average of fifteen guys who want to stand out and that, if their talent will help them, will reach Europe. In the Camp there is also a cook, a security guard and a local coach.
Many results and many new goals
The results of greater prestige achieved by athletes in these two years are: Solomon Mutai bronze medal at the World Championship in Beijing in 2015 on the marathon; Fred Musobo gold medal for the mountain run Wold Championship 2015; Stefano La Rosa qualified for the next Olympics in Rio 2016 marathon.
Even future goals are not lacking: the World Championship of half-marathon in Cardiff on March 26 will see the participation of Stefano La Rosa, only male representative for Italy and Robert Chemonges for Uganda; at the World Under-20 of July in Poland the team Uganda most likely will consist almost entirely of young athletes at Tuscany Camp; and there is also the target of Olympic Games, where there are already two athletes qualified at this time, but they may increase since the selections have just started.