The curtain went down over the 10th edition of the HaBaWaBa International Festival during songs, merry music and dances, tears of joy and of disillusion. And the sadness of the remembrance of Gabriele Pomilio and Paolo De Crescenzo have left room for new dreams, as it’s right. In a delicate moment for the future of waterpolo, where controversial political issues risk to spoil the essence of our sport, the enthusiasm of that crowd of children coming from many nations gives us hope and it increases our will to work.
Only ten years ago, it was unimaginable that a niche sports as waterpolo could impart to children the deepest human values, those same values that sport itself represents and that nowadays civil society needs more than ever. But HaBaWaBa – a pure, colorful and simple game – has entered the heart of thousands of kids and it has given a great cultural message to the whole waterpolo community that now has to develop it and to make it their own.
The essence of sport is constituted by loyalty and by the capability to take on your own responsibility without alibi, with children’s honesty and morality. Sport is to realize what is in common between us, not what divides us; it’s to recognize the importance of diversity and mutual respect for different cultures, as (unfortunately) only children can do. Sport is to know how to put all yourself to win a competition in a fair way, without deceptions, with peace of mind and without exasperation, facing opponents and not enemies… just as only the children istinctively do. Now it’s the adults who love our wonderful sport that have to get that message and to apply it into society.
We all need that!
Vice-president of Waterpolo Development