Aggiornamento: 20 mar
Sunday 10th of April 2022, another ground-breaking moment in Padova's rich cultural history as the Scambio di Lingue hosted an open training session for the organisers and participants of the Erasmus Student Network.
With France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Turkey, Finland, England and even Colombia all represented among the guests, a good day was had by all as touch rugby once again helped to break down barriers and bring people together.
In just over two hours, the 20-strong crew of international newcomers managed to aquire some basic skills, learn some elementary rules, and in the end compete against each other in a series of competive matches, facilitated all the while by Padova's finest international team.
By the time it was all over, many new friendships had been formed and the seeds of a new partnership firmly planted.
Founded in 1992, ESN Padova is a non-profit organisation for international and Erasmus students living in the city.
With a stated goal of providing opportunities for cultural understanding and self-development, they are responsibile for enhancing the university experience for hundreds of foreign University students ever year.
With so much symmetry between the two organisations, it was little surprise that the joint event was so successful.
Speaking afterwards, Scambio founder and coach Ian Bransfield congratulated the participants for a good day's work, and pointed towards a more meaningful partnership with the ESN.
"Today's event proved that touch rugby is undoubtedly the best sport in the world for bringing people together in a short amount of time", said the Irishman.
"And it also showed what can happen when two forward-thinking organisations like the Scambio and ESN put their heads together and collaborate".
"Today's event should not be seen as one-off, but rather as the starting point of a meaningful affiliation between two groups with similiar objectives".
Among the participants, ESN representative Riccardo Daniel was equally upbeat about the day's event having thrown himself into the action from the start.
"I'd like to thank you all for this wonderful experience," he said in reference to the Scambio organisers.
"I enjoyed the training from the first minute until the last."
"In my opinion it was well-balanced, engaging and inclusive. Certainly this is a healthy way to make some new friends, and if another session is organized I will be thrilled to join."