Santa Lucia Basket

History of Santa Lucia Sports Group

Sport In the "Oasis"

The Santa Lucia Foundation was originally a residential center for the rehabilitation of paraplegic and dyskinetic patients. The "Oasis" - as it was then called – begins its operations by providing neurological assistance to those in need following World War II. Seizing the opportunity of the International Paraplegic Games, which were conducted coincident with the 1960 Rome Olympic Games, the “Gruppo Sportivo Santa Lucia” was founded. The green space of the structure and campus presented a number of areas and equipment for outdoor exercise, especially designed for our patients. The community could find a running track, space for the shot put, discus and javelin, even first class sheltered archery facility. Physical activities are part of Santa Lucia’s past, present and future and form an integral part of overall rehabilitation treatment. Our specialized therapists understand well the potential favorable impact of sports-rehabilitation therapy.


Rehabilitation and Competition

Sir Ludwig Guttman was the first to introduce sport rehabilitation in his center in Aylesbury for the care and rehabilitation of patients with spinal injury. The German neurosurgeon, who fled to Britain during the World War II, concluded that sports-therapy not only improved mood, preventing depressive disorders, but was also able to increase the capacity of muscle and offered favorable results with respiratory patients. People with paraplegia could better manage the wheelchair and/or to achieve a high degree of autonomy in movements. In the wake of the results, Sir Guttman also managed to introduce archery sports at the first of three games for athletes with disabilities, celebrated in Stoke, Mandeville 28 July 1948. At the initial games participants were mainly former members of the British Armed Forces. By 1960 it was the time for the first Paralympics in Rome and that from that year has become a regular event worldwide, celebrated every four years.


Gold Medals and Laurel Crowns

In 1977 the “Gruppo Sportivo Santa Lucia” takes part in the first Italian championships organized by the former Italian National Association of Paraplegic Sports (ANSPI). In the same year Dr. Antonio Maglio, the person who first imported into Italy the teachings of Sir Guttman, joins the Santa Lucia rehabilitation team as Technical Director of the Sporting Group. After several renaming’s in 1990 it was officially inaugurated the FISD – Italian Federation for Disabled Sports (today CIP – Comitato Italiano Paralimpico). The Gruppo Sportivo of Santa Lucia started to collect medals, records and other achievements of successes, from athletics to fencing, from table tennis to archery, while its two main sports remain swimming and basketball.


The Names That Have Made History

There are many important historical names in Paralympic sport that brought glory and pride to Santa Lucia, both nationally and internationally. Clara Podda, paraplegic, took home a silver medal from the Beijing Paralympics. Lina Franzese, amputated at both arms, won three gold medals in the Paralympics in Toronto and is closely followed by the coach Antonio Vernole, Vernole is the father of Riccardo, currently Head Coach of the Italian National Paralympic Swimming Team. We recall fondly Pierino Scarsella as the fencer who accumulated the most medals. We also remember Roberto Sica, Roberto Valori and Giovanni Pische for records in swimming. And finally, for the wheelchair basketball, about whom we cannot fail to mention Carlo Iannucci and Carlo Di Giusto, current coaches of the Santa Lucia Basket, the most successful team in Italy.