Cardinal Newman players, coaches enjoy Italian cultural exchange

Community May 09, 2018 by Anthony Falconio Stoney Creek News

It was an unforgettable experience, or as they say in Italy: Un'esperienza indimenticabile.

That old adage was true for a group of 21 student soccer players and four educators from Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School. They began a 10-day excursion flying from Toronto to Rome on March 28, spending Holy Week in the Italian Capital, before venturing south to Sicily. While in Sicily the group was centered in Racalmuto (a twin city of Hamilton), where for a week they trained, played a series of games with local Sicilian soccer team Libertas Racalmuto.

The idea to bring a soccer team from Cardinal Newman to Racalmuto started in 2016, when Hamilton and Racalmuto celebrated the 30th anniversary of their city twinning. Hamilton has a well-documented connection with the city, with an estimated 25,000 Hamiltonians tracing their roots to the region.

One of those Hamiltonians, Anthony Macaluso, vice-principal and soccer coach at Cardinal Newman, had the opportunity to oversee the venture.

“As Festitalia chair I had a chance to travel to Racalmuto in 2016 with other local delegates from Hamilton,” he said. “We made a commitment with their local government to renew the connection between our communities. Part of that began with the Leonardo Sciascia statue project in 2017.”

Leonardo Sciascia was an influential writer, playwright and novelist who was born in Racalmuto. An identical statue of him that exists in Racalmuto was erected last year outside of Liuna Station in Hamilton.

Cardinal Newman has a proud history when it comes to high-school soccer in Ontario. The school has won five OFSAA provincial championships, the most recent coming from the senior girls soccer team in 2016. The senior boys head coach, Gerry Moretuzzo, who was one of the teachers to accompany the group, explained how the trip exceeded all expectations.

“First and foremost, it was an amazing chance for the students and staff to experience Holy Week in Rome. As a Catholic school it provided a really unique opportunity for our students to deepen their faith,” Moretuzzo said. “As for the soccer, I was pretty impressed with the technical skill of the Sicilian side. Our players matched up against them well.”

Coaches and players from both sides shared meals and had a chance to bond together in between games. The Newman players even received local jerseys with their names and numbers on the back.

The group was able to tour the traditional sites in Rome including the Vatican and Colosseum. Highlights of the trip included visits to Sicilian cities, Palermo, Taormina, Agrigento and Siracusa where the students saw the famed Teatro Massimo opera house, Mondello beach and Roman ruins.

Interestingly, one of the day trips was a visit to a salt mine in Racalmuto. Grade 10 Newman student Luca Bertolo called it a surreal experience.

“Being five kilometres below sea level and knowing that there was only one way in and out of the mine definitely caught my attention,” said Bertolo. “It was amazing to see this massive facility in such a small town.”

The group capped off the trip in a fitting way, taking in a professional soccer game between two Serie B sides (Italy’s second tier soccer division), US Citta di Palermo and Pescara at the Stadio Renzo Barbera. The President of Palermo soccer Giovani Giammarva even joined the Cardinal Newman team for dinner the night of the match. It was an important acknowledgement of not just Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School, but of Canadian soccer as a whole.

Cardinal Newman players, coaches enjoy Italian cultural exchange

Group visits Racalmuto

Community May 09, 2018 by Anthony Falconio Stoney Creek News

It was an unforgettable experience, or as they say in Italy: Un'esperienza indimenticabile.

That old adage was true for a group of 21 student soccer players and four educators from Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School. They began a 10-day excursion flying from Toronto to Rome on March 28, spending Holy Week in the Italian Capital, before venturing south to Sicily. While in Sicily the group was centered in Racalmuto (a twin city of Hamilton), where for a week they trained, played a series of games with local Sicilian soccer team Libertas Racalmuto.

The idea to bring a soccer team from Cardinal Newman to Racalmuto started in 2016, when Hamilton and Racalmuto celebrated the 30th anniversary of their city twinning. Hamilton has a well-documented connection with the city, with an estimated 25,000 Hamiltonians tracing their roots to the region.

One of those Hamiltonians, Anthony Macaluso, vice-principal and soccer coach at Cardinal Newman, had the opportunity to oversee the venture.

“As Festitalia chair I had a chance to travel to Racalmuto in 2016 with other local delegates from Hamilton,” he said. “We made a commitment with their local government to renew the connection between our communities. Part of that began with the Leonardo Sciascia statue project in 2017.”

Leonardo Sciascia was an influential writer, playwright and novelist who was born in Racalmuto. An identical statue of him that exists in Racalmuto was erected last year outside of Liuna Station in Hamilton.

Cardinal Newman has a proud history when it comes to high-school soccer in Ontario. The school has won five OFSAA provincial championships, the most recent coming from the senior girls soccer team in 2016. The senior boys head coach, Gerry Moretuzzo, who was one of the teachers to accompany the group, explained how the trip exceeded all expectations.

“First and foremost, it was an amazing chance for the students and staff to experience Holy Week in Rome. As a Catholic school it provided a really unique opportunity for our students to deepen their faith,” Moretuzzo said. “As for the soccer, I was pretty impressed with the technical skill of the Sicilian side. Our players matched up against them well.”

Coaches and players from both sides shared meals and had a chance to bond together in between games. The Newman players even received local jerseys with their names and numbers on the back.

The group was able to tour the traditional sites in Rome including the Vatican and Colosseum. Highlights of the trip included visits to Sicilian cities, Palermo, Taormina, Agrigento and Siracusa where the students saw the famed Teatro Massimo opera house, Mondello beach and Roman ruins.

Interestingly, one of the day trips was a visit to a salt mine in Racalmuto. Grade 10 Newman student Luca Bertolo called it a surreal experience.

“Being five kilometres below sea level and knowing that there was only one way in and out of the mine definitely caught my attention,” said Bertolo. “It was amazing to see this massive facility in such a small town.”

The group capped off the trip in a fitting way, taking in a professional soccer game between two Serie B sides (Italy’s second tier soccer division), US Citta di Palermo and Pescara at the Stadio Renzo Barbera. The President of Palermo soccer Giovani Giammarva even joined the Cardinal Newman team for dinner the night of the match. It was an important acknowledgement of not just Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School, but of Canadian soccer as a whole.

Cardinal Newman players, coaches enjoy Italian cultural exchange

Group visits Racalmuto

Community May 09, 2018 by Anthony Falconio Stoney Creek News

It was an unforgettable experience, or as they say in Italy: Un'esperienza indimenticabile.

That old adage was true for a group of 21 student soccer players and four educators from Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School. They began a 10-day excursion flying from Toronto to Rome on March 28, spending Holy Week in the Italian Capital, before venturing south to Sicily. While in Sicily the group was centered in Racalmuto (a twin city of Hamilton), where for a week they trained, played a series of games with local Sicilian soccer team Libertas Racalmuto.

The idea to bring a soccer team from Cardinal Newman to Racalmuto started in 2016, when Hamilton and Racalmuto celebrated the 30th anniversary of their city twinning. Hamilton has a well-documented connection with the city, with an estimated 25,000 Hamiltonians tracing their roots to the region.

One of those Hamiltonians, Anthony Macaluso, vice-principal and soccer coach at Cardinal Newman, had the opportunity to oversee the venture.

“As Festitalia chair I had a chance to travel to Racalmuto in 2016 with other local delegates from Hamilton,” he said. “We made a commitment with their local government to renew the connection between our communities. Part of that began with the Leonardo Sciascia statue project in 2017.”

Leonardo Sciascia was an influential writer, playwright and novelist who was born in Racalmuto. An identical statue of him that exists in Racalmuto was erected last year outside of Liuna Station in Hamilton.

Cardinal Newman has a proud history when it comes to high-school soccer in Ontario. The school has won five OFSAA provincial championships, the most recent coming from the senior girls soccer team in 2016. The senior boys head coach, Gerry Moretuzzo, who was one of the teachers to accompany the group, explained how the trip exceeded all expectations.

“First and foremost, it was an amazing chance for the students and staff to experience Holy Week in Rome. As a Catholic school it provided a really unique opportunity for our students to deepen their faith,” Moretuzzo said. “As for the soccer, I was pretty impressed with the technical skill of the Sicilian side. Our players matched up against them well.”

Coaches and players from both sides shared meals and had a chance to bond together in between games. The Newman players even received local jerseys with their names and numbers on the back.

The group was able to tour the traditional sites in Rome including the Vatican and Colosseum. Highlights of the trip included visits to Sicilian cities, Palermo, Taormina, Agrigento and Siracusa where the students saw the famed Teatro Massimo opera house, Mondello beach and Roman ruins.

Interestingly, one of the day trips was a visit to a salt mine in Racalmuto. Grade 10 Newman student Luca Bertolo called it a surreal experience.

“Being five kilometres below sea level and knowing that there was only one way in and out of the mine definitely caught my attention,” said Bertolo. “It was amazing to see this massive facility in such a small town.”

The group capped off the trip in a fitting way, taking in a professional soccer game between two Serie B sides (Italy’s second tier soccer division), US Citta di Palermo and Pescara at the Stadio Renzo Barbera. The President of Palermo soccer Giovani Giammarva even joined the Cardinal Newman team for dinner the night of the match. It was an important acknowledgement of not just Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School, but of Canadian soccer as a whole.