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A footbike standing on abandoned rail tracks, Source: Martin Grill, on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Padua thinks of ways to keep public spaces busy after summer

Padua thinks of ways to keep public spaces busy after summer

These will become grounds for street sport activities

Padua’s municipal website announced, on 29 June, a new initiative aimed at keeping public spaces in the Italian city busy and vivacious after the summer months are gone. The project, called ‘Street sport’, is the result of a collaboration between the local Municipality and AICS Veneto, the cultural and sports branch of the national association.

A qualified staff, capable of teaching and testing various activities, will be present in the squares and parks selected by the City Hall as the proper spaces for the implementation of the initiative. These activities will range from the most popular sports and free body exercising to trying out the brand-new disciplines of footbike or sports scooters.

The starting date of the activities is set to 10 September

‘Street sport’ will take over the public areas from 10 September, which is planned as the promotional day of the event on the small squares of Cuoco alla Guizza and Azzurri d’Italia all’Arcella.

Then in these same squares for the next three months, sports operators will be present on the multidisciplinary platforms to guide anyone who wants to try different disciplines such as basketball, volleyball and athletics, and also skating or parkour.

As mentioned earlier, probably the most exotic addition is the so-called footbike, which will also be presented with the collaboration of the high jump champion Gianmarco Tamberi.

Footbike is a sport that was born in Finland in 1994 as a training method for cross-country skiing. It is thanks to this pedigree that the way to ride a footbike (as the vehicle is also called) is done through alternating thrusts with both legs. The footbike, thus, resembles a bicycle without pedals, or a sort of scooter with large wheels.

Riding a footbike exploits the muscular strength of the athlete, involving both the upper and the lower part of the body. It also develops balance and kinesthesia (also known as ‘the sixth sense’) and can be practised from the age of four, without restrictions. It is a flexible sporting activity that transforms the urban territory into an open-air gym.

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