Simone Camba with the young men he helps through his association Sardiniasail | Credit: ANSA
Simone Camba with the young men he helps through his association Sardiniasail | Credit: ANSA

A sports award has been dedicated to Italian police officer Simone Camba who runs an association that uses sailing as a way to facilitate social inclusion for young marginalized men -- including migrants and the poor -- in Sardinia.

Simone Camba, a police officer and president of the association New Sardiniasail on Sardinia, has won the award of Sailor of the Year which is given out by the Italian magazine Giornale della Vela.

Camba's association runs a project that uses sailing as a way to facilitate social inclusion for young men who have legal or family problems, as well as migrants and the poor.

In his profession as police officer, Camba works in the immigration office at the Cagliari police station.

Sailing to provide a future

The award's organizers in their announcement of the prize wrote: "Simone Camba with his association uses sailing as a means to recovery and social redemption. Young men with judicial or family problems, migrants, the poor. He does all he can to turn them into sailors and give them a future."

"I'm really happy to have reached this important goal, which gives strong national visibility to our work with the young men," Camba said.

Yahia's redemption through a sailboat

In November 2020, New Sardiniasail told the story of Yahia, one of the young men that the association has helped.

Yahia was born in 1992 and fled his village in Niger, and came to Italy by crossing the Mediterranean aboard a makeshift migrant boat.

When he arrived in Sardinia, he didn't know how to swim. Today, he has become one of the association's most talented skippers.

Opportunity to build a future

Yahia was staying at the migrant reception center in Villacidro, a small town about 50 kilometers from Cagliari. When he went to the immigration office at the Cagliari police station to renew his stay permit, he met Simone Camba.

"He didn't know how to swim, much less have any idea idea about how a sailboat was made," said Camba, telling the Yahia's story in November 2020.

"Now Yahia is among the most present on our team. To see him grow and improve day by day is compensation for every sacrifice," Camba said.

In Sardinia Yahia found reception and the opportunity to build his future in the nautical world, according to New Sardiniasail.

 

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