Riccardo D’Elicio, president of CUS Torino and organizer of the race Just The Woman I Am, tells how sport is an awareness-raising tool that can help win the battle against breast cancer and promote the culture of prevention.
The event Just The Woman I Am was born in 2014 to raise awareness of issues related to the world of women. CUS Torino has always had a female university sports vocation, and we dedicated a lot of energy, precisely in this, because the world of women was always a little more behind than that of men. The organizer of the race, non-competitive, emphasizes the importance of sport as a cure, and also as a tool of socialization capable of improving the quality of life of citizens.
Until we can get sport into the protocols, we cannot say that we have won the battle against cancer. Nowadays, those who manage economic budgets in which there are chapters related to prevention, must believe in the value of physical activity and finance it as any kind of cure. For example, it is scientifically proven that if a diabetic person walks for at least 6 km per day he can compensate for the use of drugs. In Italy there are about 8 million diabetics, and sports can be done at low cost, so it would be a huge saving for the National Health System.
D’Elicio strongly believes in the union of researchers, doctors, managers and sports associations, because they involve citizens, good politics and mayors. Networking is one of the values of the race to which have adhered not only professionals of the oncological world, but also institutional positions. The event was linked to a hundred municipalities, which created a fixed path inaugurated thanks to JTWIA, and remained available to citizens by creating groups and socialization experiences.
The culture of the Just the Woman I am movement is aimed at raising awareness among men. In the last 3-4 years, in fact, people started saying “I run with her” or “I run for her” by many men. Some cancers, today, begin to be found even in males. For this reason in the future it will be necessary to teach boys to feel their breasts, because a 20-30% increase in male breast cancer per year has been found.
JTWIA sought to reach out to those who dedicate little time to themselves, with the idea of creating an event that could engage them. Another of the reasons that helped organize this non-competitive race is personal, as the organizer lost his mother at 60 years of cancer and understands suffering well. The choice of date around Women’s Day is not a coincidence. D’Elicio says that he understood, thanks to his wife, that Women’s Day had become too commercial, for this reason at CUS they thought to find something that could put women together creating a real participating party not a competition.
D’Elicio concludes with the hope that in this world that has a crazy sensitivity, the evolution of this race will also involve men and all citizens, from the youngest to the oldest.