It was raining heavily in Bardolino back on May 1st 2013, when just 8 teams of young footballers were playing against each other to win the first Adriano Gradizzi’s Memorial tournament, while only a few parents were supporting them, together with a small group of USCD Bardolino Football Association’s organizers.
It was there and then that Gigi Ottolini – Vice President of Bardolino Football Club and Pino Apolloni, a well known manager and key figure of the youth football sector in Veneto region for the past 30 years, met. That meeting was the birthplace of an under 10 International Football tournament in Bardolino with a view of making it a proper important event different from any existing ones.
The reasons are easily summarized below:
1st – Location – Bardolino is among the ten most visited cities in Italy, for its natural and historical beauties, its local products, for its excellence in welcoming and hosting millions of tourists each year and last but not least for the organization of a great number of events both international and national all through the year. http://www.bardolinotop.it/
2nd – Facilities – An easy to access sport center, situated near the City centre and surrounded by olive trees and by a beautiful green landscape.
3rd – Organization – the precious support of the local football club, whose President Aldo Gianfranceschi has been used to organize and run great events, e.g. the annual Wine Festival where tens of thousand of people take part.
4th – Public Authority – The Municipality has been open minded and has welcomed any important and relevant initiative promoting and valorizing the City and its image, above all if aimed to enhance the youth sector. http://www.comune.bardolino.vr.it/
In the first edition there were already 24 football clubs, mostly coming from the North East part of Italy, and 4 foreign ones. In 2015, thanks to the arrival of new young collaborators, i.e. Nicola Baietta, covering the role of youth sector manager, Juventus, Inter e Atalanta, plus 7 foreign clubs were invited and their attendance guaranteed.
In 2016 there were 32 clubs from start, among which BAYERN MUNICH stood up and its outstanding presence was also important for all the German people who regularly come to visit and spend their holiday by this side of Lake Garda. The ongoing participation requests from many other football clubs together with the growing success of the event led the organizing committee to run a preliminary tournament among 16 teams , the winning one of which, would have taken part of the international tournament. Year after year things have improved for both the quality and the number of the participating clubs and important steps forwards have been made up to the 5th edition where the following happenings need to be underlined:
a) The Youth International football tournament, Bardolino City has become one of the proper listed yearly event in Bardolino and its name owned by the Municipal administration.
b) The entrance of the newly born ASD Baldo Junior Team football association, which merged many neighbouring towns youth clubs.
c) The tournament has found a proper sponsor and given its official title “Germano Chincherini memorial”. Germano Chincherini was a well-known businessman who died prematurely but loved helping children in need together with his wife who still does it, via the Onlus Foundation that carries his name. The entry of the Foundation allowed to the Organization the destination of 30% of the net proceeds of the entire event to help families in economic difficulties having needy Kids of particular care and continuous assistance. The choice will take under the auspices of the Municipal Administration and the Social Worker. Moreover all the classess fourth and fifth grade of the Municiality of Bardolino will be sensitized on the topic both with targeded meetings with no-profit managers both with specific school commitment
d) Full collaboration and support are given by local tourist and business operators, e.g. hotels, restaurants shops etc., by the hotel and catering vocational school “IPSAR -Luigi Carnacina” , various charities, and by the citizens as well.
Last but not least the organizing committee has forged and named the Under 10 Champions Cup where the winning team wins the same type of cup as the existing adult Champions Cup. The tournament has consolidated itself with the arrival of the major British, Spanish, German, Finnish, Swedish, Hungarian, Austrian, French, Romanian, Swiss, Polish and Italian clubs.
The organizing Committee is already working on the 6th edition, which will see the participation, on top of the others, of Paris Saint Germain, Borussia Dortmund and Rome. The tournament takes place between 10th and 12th of May 2019, with 18 football teams, 15 of which are major and prestigious clubs. The weekend before – between 4th and 5th of May 2019 – a preliminary international tournament takes place among 32 other teams, the winning team among them will play the International tournament. An outstanding 2019 football week will witness 50 teams with 750 young players coming from 12 different Countries.
Achieving this organization, number of participants and quality football clubs has been challenging and demanding and now they need to be maintained and improved.
Last 19th June 2018 the ASD BARDOLINO CHAMPIONS CUP, a youth football club was set up and aims to:
- Organize and run the International Tournament.
- start up and run the football club school of Bardolino and of the neighbouring town too in collaboration with “Baldo Junior Team” club .
It is to our great satisfaction, and that of BJT football club, to have already enrolled 40 kids between the age of 6 and 10, this demonstrates that football in Bardolino has still a lot to give and has a bright future ahead.
A new website www.bardolinochampionscup.com was finally set up where groups, calendars and the entire event program are now fully available.
The 6th Germano Chincherini Memorial’s edition saw Atalanta crowned as the winning team, ahead of Milan and Bayern Munich, for the Champions Cup, whereas Paris Saint German won the Europe Cup tournament, leaving Manchester United and Verona just behind.
It has been a very successful and exciting edition both for the great number of fans and football club participants, who have already asked to be part of the next, 7th edition, taking place in May 2020. For this reason we wish to draw attention to the new entries, Ajax and Sporting Lisbon, which is the world’s top club youth sector development and launching of players as professionals.
The biggest news though is the participation of the Chinese Football Boy Beijing Academy which brings together all the best players of China between the age of 8 and 12. Opening up the tournament to this prestigious Club allows us to reach a new world of football, which in just a few years has achieved unimaginable levels. This club will do their best, together with the 20.000 football schools that have recently been opened and are operating around this huge Country, to satisfy their President Xi Jinping’s desire and will to win the next World Cup in 2026, which is very likely to take place and to be organized in China.
The 7th edition planned for 8th-9th-10th May 2020 was at a very advanced stage of organisation, planning to host 21 teams of considerable reputation, such as the new entry Ajax, Sporting Lisbon and the Chinese Football Boy, which is an impressive and very important Academy in Beijing.
Sadly we did not take into account the “small” Virus Covid19.
At the beginning of March 2020 our hearts sank when we had to send the public statement for the cancellation of the tournament to all the participating football Clubs, together with the invitation for the following 8th edition planned for May 7th-8th and 9th 2021.
Unfortunately this pandemic has brought the whole world to its knees, spreading virulently and creating a real danger to us all forcing us, beyond our will to cancel the 8th edition too.
What a pity!
Nevertheless with the full support of the Municipality of Bardolino, of the Hoteliers Association, of local restaurants and bars and of the whole community we are willing not to give up.
We have already started to work on the special 9th edition planned for 6th-7th-8th May 2022.
The ninth edition of the Memorial G. Chincherini met with considerable success in terms of participation and technical quality. We had some doubts after two years of forced stop but everything went well. Deserved victory of CHELSEA on Atletico De Madrid and the surprising Parma.
The organization ot the tenth edition is already in an advanced stage. The tournament will take place on 12/13/14 May 2023. Ajax, Red Bull Salzurg, Copenhagen and Ferencvaros will partecipate. for the first time and compete with the European youth football Gotha. Thirteen nations will be represented, confirming the high technical/organisational quality achieved by the tournament.
Also the related Preliminary tournament – that will take place on 29/30 April and 1 May 2023, the winner will participate in the aforementioned tournament – this year had an important increase both in teams (30) and in nations (8), including 2 Canadians teams.
Another big news: the entire G. Chincherini Memorial will be broadcasted in live streaming.