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Menarini Group News

2021 - 10 - 19

Serie A: the Volpi Rosse Menarini are ready to meet the challenge




On 23 October, the first wheelchair basketball team in Tuscany will take part in the Serie A of the National Championship of the FIPIC (Italian Wheelchair Basketball Federation). The athletes will face the Deco Metalferro Amicacci Abruzzo at the Palasport Paolo Valenti in Florence. The details of this success, both sporting and human, were illustrated today during the press conference in Palazzo Vecchio, attended by Cosimo Guccione, Councillor for Sport of the Municipality of Florence. Also present were the team, with new Brazilian coach Ana Cardoso, President Ivano Nuti, and Ennio Troiano, Global Director of Human Resources of Menarini, title sponsor of the Volpi Rosse Menarini.


Florence, 19 October 2021 - Inclusion, integration, a passion for life, both on and off the basketball court. These are the characteristics of the exponential path taken by the Volpi Rosse Menarini, the Florentine wheelchair basketball team which, last June, achieved one of its highest goals, that of landing in the Serie A of the National Championship of the Federazione Italiana Pallacanestro in Carrozzina (FIPIC). An extraordinary success for the senior team, achieved just a few days after another win, obtained by the youth team: their first championship victory.         

            This new and important upcoming challenge is a milestone that, back in 2005, the year in which the Associazione di Promozione Sociale Wheelchair Sport Firenze (FlorenceWheelchair Sport Firenze Social Promotion Association) was founded, was no more than a dream. Just as the boys of the Volpi Rosse Menarini, title sponsor of the team since 2011, were at that time tenacious youngsters who have now become great professional athletes, likewise the progress of the team in which they grew up has been great over the years, thanks to having always embraced the values of sportsmanship and social inclusion.



"We are proud of each and every player and member of the Volpi Rosse Menarini," declare Lucia and Alberto Giovanni Aleotti, Menarini shareholders and board members, "for ten years we have been following their determination, will and perseverance. They uphold the banner of true values that we share in full and have shown that with the strength of the team, goals can be reached, and challenges overcome.”

            Sport is life, inclusion, for the growth of the Volpi Rosse Menarini. President Ivano Nuti emphasised how "people with difficulties, disabilities or traumas, take life on with great awareness and tenacity. During the lockdown, for example, the Volpi Rosse team  never stopped training, facing the pandemic head on, never taking a step back. An example for everyone. There is no room for compassion, it is sport through and through. Menarini's values therefore coincide with ours: above all, reciprocal trust. An exchange that represents a wonderful value. Today we are facing the challenge of the Serie A championship in this way, with humility and the knowledge that we will never be abandoned; we may feel like the last ones, but we are forging ahead with a great determination". 

The Volpi Rosse Menarini, the first wheelchair basketball team in Tuscany, founded in 2005, have been a model for other regional teams: Livorno, followed by Pistoia. "I started playing for the Volpi Rosse Menarini when I was nine years old," explains Joel Joseph Boganelli, one of the players, "now I am fifteen. I've played in all the youth team games, even participating in some of the Serie B. Last summer I was called up for the national under-22 team for the European Championships held in Lignano Sabbiadoro. Today, more than ever, I feel ready to face the Serie A with my team".

            The new Brazilian coach Ana Lucia Cardoso, who joined the Volpi Rosse directly after her experience at the last Paralympics in Tokyo, says, "I appreciated their values and met some of the players of the Volpi Rosse Menarini, back in 2015. Now I want to do a great job and be a reference point for the team. I will certainly do my best".

Cosimo Guccione, Councillor for Sport of the Municipality of Florence, said: "Last season ended on a high note, the young players won an Italian championship, the senior team went into Serie A and just two days ago they won the Supercoppa Giovanile (Youth Super Cup). These successes have been made possible thanks to Menarini's constant commitment, the great work of the management and technical staff, and the spirit of sacrifice and dedication of the players. The Volpi Rosse are now a consolidated reality of Florentine sport. I would like to thank Menarini, the directors, the players and all those who believe in and support this virtuous reality: their activity is a source of great pride for our city and of great energy for so many athletes who have found a team and, above all, a great family to belong to”.           

            This is the team of the Volpi Rosse: Niccolò Bartoloni, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Riccardo Innocenti, Joel Joseph Boganelli, Luciano Da Silva, Hosseini Seydmehran, Davide Obino, Valentin Duduianu Stefanita, Federico Ventura, Riccardo Angelozzi, Cosimo Caiazzo, Admir Ahmethodzic, Alessandro Boccacci, Giacomo Forcione, and Matteo Mordenti.



The Menarini Pharmaceutical Group, based in Florence, Italy, is present today in 140 countries worldwide: with a turnover of 3,793 billion Euro and more than 17,000 employees. With 10 Research and Development Centres, its products can be found in the most important therapeutic sectors including cardiology, gastroenterology, pneumology, infectious diseases, diabetology, inflammation and analgesia. Its Pharmaceutical production, on the other hand, is carried out in the Group's 17 production plants both in Italy and abroad, where over 581 million packs a year are produced and distributed in the five continents. With its pharmaceutical production Menarini contributes, on an ongoing basis and with extremely high-quality standards, to the health of patients all over the world.


The history of the Volpi Rosse Menarini

2005 - Wheelchair Sport Firenze Volpi Rosse is founded as a Social Promotion Association, the first Tuscan wheelchair basketball team.

2011 - It becomes an Amateur Sports Association. Menarini becomes title sponsor and links its name to that of the Volpi Rosse. Registered with the CIP (Italian Paralympics Committee), it is associated with the Italian Wheelchair Basketball Federation, FIPIC.

2014 - First Serie B Championship

2015 Third place in the Final Four Italian Youth Championship  

2016 Second place in the Final Four Italian Youth Championship  

2018 Fourth place in the Final Four Italian Championship Serie B

2021 - The Volpi Rosse Menarini are promoted to Serie A and the youth team wins its first championship in the FIPIC Italian Youth Championship.


The 2021/22 Serie A Championship calendar

23/10/2021 - VRM vs. Amicacci Giulianova

13/11/2021 - Dinamo Lab Sassari vs. VRM

08/01/2022 - VRM vs. S. Stefano Avis

15/01/2022 - Special Bergamo Sport vs. VRM

29/01/2022 - Amicacci Giulianova vs. VRM

19/02/2022 - VRM vs Dinamo Lab Sassari

26/02/2022 - S. Stefano Avis vs. VRM

05/03/2022 - VRM vs. Special Bergamo Sport