Pope Francis says "It is important...not to stop in the face of life's obstacles, but to overcome difficulties with tenacity, trust in God and in oneself and in the help of others." to Sports Team



Sala Clementina - Saturday, 9 April 2022


 Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and welcome!

I thank your President for his words. I welcome you to the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Tevere Remo Rowing Club. An important anniversary! Through you I address a cordial thought to your families and to all those who are part of this ancient partnership.

This anniversary offers an opportunity to reflect on the meaning and style of your presence in society, in Rome and in Lazio. You are representatives of a sporting reality, whose members compete in several disciplines, and this evokes movement, the setting off. It is important for every age group, especially young people, not to stop in the face of life's obstacles, but to overcome difficulties with tenacity, trust in God and in oneself and in the help of others. Through sport, you are called to promote the values ​​of healthy competition, friendship, solidarity. It is a question of spreading a sporting culture that conceives the practice of sport not only as a factor of physical well-being, but as a courageous ideal, as a tool for the integral growth of the person.

Over the years, you have endeavored to propose your Club as a training ground for human training. I encourage you to persevere so that children, young people and adults can cultivate, through the various sports disciplines, essential values: love for truth and justice, respect for creation, a taste for beauty and goodness, the search for freedom and of peace. Sometimes the world of sport seems to be subjected to the conditioning of the logic of profit and exasperated competition, which can also degenerate into episodes of violence. It is also the task of realities such as yours to testify to the moral strength of sporting activity which, if lived correctly, helps to establish good friendships and favors the construction of a more serene and fraternal world, in which one supports and helps each other. . And this is important, cultivate that dimension of "amateur". If a sport is not amateur, it is not a sport, something is missing. Cultivate this amateurism so as not to fall into other interests.

Especially to you, dear young athletes, I wish you to practice sport with loyalty and a healthy competitive spirit. In this way it will help you to face the demanding race of life with courage and honesty, with joy and serene faith in the future, stopping to wait patiently for those who are slower and have more difficulty walking.

Your president has made two hints which I want to take up again now. The first is Ukraine. We cannot talk about other things these days without at least remembering, remembering the cruelty that can be reached. The sporting spirit, this of your amateurism, is a preparation for not falling into these things, cultivating human friendship prepares us not to fall into this tragedy and to think of those people who are victims of this tragedy. Thank you for mentioning Ukraine in his speech.

I entrust to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, Salus Populi Romani , the entire family of the Circolo Canottieri Tevere Remo. I bless you and I wish you all the best in your business. And the second thing your President said I am not saying because he told you: that you pray for me. Thanks, I need it, because this "sport" is not easy!

Source: Vatican.va