O. Do Rosario : could you present yourself, outline your experience and explain your function at the Golden Age Gym Festival 2012?
Massimo Porciani: At the beginning of this project about 3 years ago, I was the president of « Montecatini Congressi » and my aim was to promote the city through the organisation of events such as the Golden Age which offers an international dimension, a very interesting number of participants and whose missions are sport (in that case gymnastics), wellness and health.
Soon I was in contact with the Italian Gymnastics Federation and we set up the project with the support of the city and the region; that is how all discussions started.
What I particularly liked about the idea to host the Golden Age Gym Festival was that the entire city with all its infrastructures, especially the hotels of all categories, could take advantage of this week.
My function as President of « Montecatini Cogressi » ended last year and I am now President of the Paralympic Committee of Tuscany. I have also had the chance to accompany our 7 athletes to the London Games last august; we brought home one silver medal in fencing.
O. Do Rosario: why did you choose to organise this event in the city of Montecatini?
Massimo Porciani: The main reason is that my duty as President of “Montecatini Congressi” was to find events in line with the spirit and the atmosphere of this beautiful city, my city.
The correlation between the event and the city were evident.
I was born in Montecatini and I still live or rather sleep here because due to my professional activities I am often traveling all around Italy.
It is a very pleasant city to live in – where life is easy. We are close to everything, the see, the mountains – in the heart of Tuscany.
O. Do Rosario: tell us something regarding your local team on site; how are you organised?
Massimo Porciani: About 2 years ago, the National Gymnastics Federation has mandated the agency « E-Creative » to help us to organise this event. After a partnership with E-Creative, I discovered very serious persons and I used their experience, responsibility and flexibility, for Paralympic Committee too. We were looking for a team whose guiding principles are RESPONSIBILITY and FLEXIBILITY. We needed persons that were willing to become fully involved in this project and we succeeded.
In the Local Organising Committee, there are the President of the Tuscany Gymnastics Federation and also a representative of Montecatini Convention Bureau.
The LOC is a mix of authorities coming from the municipality, the province of Pistoia, the Olympic Committee, from gymnastics and the director of the Montecatini Terms is also part of the team. The aim was to form a real assembly and to find the right group to assume all tasks and aspects of this work.
O. Do Rosario: finally, what do you expect from this event?
Massimo Porciani: My first goal is achieved as the Golden Age Festival has this year attracted about 1850 persons to Montecatini; these are more participants than to two years ago.
The second one also seems to be achieved but is not yet completed, as I wish that the gymnasts are fully satisfied of their stay, that they fully enjoy their week in the framework of this Festival. I hope that they can fully catch the true atmosphere of Montecatini: the well-being of this city.
I wish to come across many more smiles until Friday night and that the participants fully profit of this great Golden Age Festival.
Finally I would like to mention that I have very much appreciated the collaboration with the technical committee of the UEG, chaired by Detlef Mann. It was a great pleasure to work together in such a pleasant and serene atmosphere. The cooperation was perfect and the mutual assistance greatly appreciated.
This is after all also the spirit of the Golden Age Gym Festival: all together in a good mood!
I would like to thank Francesco and Ilaria Pancioli, the owner of Palazzo dei Congressi (our Head Quarter), who have been always near us during the whole event.