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Rome Reports

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Vatican presents its first official athletics team

The Vatican Kicks off 2019 with a healthy start, announcing it will compete in Italy with its own athletics team, “Vatican Athletics.” It will also have a Paralympic team.

The team will be made up of Vatican employees and their families; also including immigrants and refugees as honorary members.

Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture
“It was not created only to run, but to transmit a message and a testimony of Christian life.” “It was an idea by the Vatican employees. It was for those working in the Vatican, which is quite complex and broad, to help promote an idea of openness. This is why we have welcomed immigrants from the Auxilium cooperative and we have also signed an agreement with the Paralympic Athletics Committee.”

The co-ed recruitment includes Vatican firefighters, Swiss guards, pharmacy employees, police, carpenters, religious and lay people as part of the first official Holy See sports team.

This has been made possible by an agreement between the Holy See and the Italian National Olympic Committee. The president jokingly said that he was “scared” that the Vatican would be part of the 206 Olympic committees of the world, meaning fewer medals to distribute.

President, Italian National Olympic Committee
“I am very happy that you have created this team. We put ourselves at your disposal in everything and also our experience. However, I tell you... don't grow too much eh.”

The main objective of “Vatican Athletics” is to compete at a national level and then in competitions among little states, with less than one million inhabitants, in places like San Marino, Leichtenstein or Monaco. It's a unique opportunity to transmit Christian values through sports.