Home Search Sitemap About Us
 
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
 
 
P10729 - Fogolar Furlan Club women’s Boccefila team, once played outdoors, the games are now enjoyed in the Udine Complex.  Courtesy Fogolar Furlan
 
P10731 - Fogolar Furlan boy’s soccer team, courtesy of Fogolar Furlan

P10729 - Fogolar Furlan Club women’s Bocciofila team, once played outdoors, the games are now enjoyed in the Udine Complex. Courtesy Fogolar Furlan
 
P10731 - Fogolar Furlan boy’s soccer team. Courtesy of Fogolar Furlan
 

(Source: Walter Temelini, Sports and Ethnicity, Polyphony, Vol.7, No.1)

Sports do not merely reflect or enhance the manliness of the individual, the sturdiness of a group or race, or the role of a nation; they are activities that can encourage understanding among all human beings and nations.

Prior to the 1920s, sports activities in Windsor (at least according to the records) were mainly the domain of the Anglo-Saxons, the Sons of England and the Sons of Scotland. Prior to the athletic association and curling, card playing (euchre) seemed to be the most popular pastime. By the end of World War I, lawn bowling, basketball, soccer, and later golf, and rifle shooting clubs were initiated in the city.

It was soccer, however, that soon became the most attractive collective sport among the British and other ethnic groups. Change came in the 1930s. Several ethnocultural clubs had been formed in the late l920s including the Caboto Club, the first Italian club in the city.

The Caboto team, defined in 1954, as the “stylish Italian eleven,” won the Ontario Cup in 1961. By the mid-1970s, Windsor had a soccer team which included international stars in the National Soccer League. In 1980, the AC Roma under sixteen all-star soccer team won the gold medal at the southwestern Ontario regional games tournament.

 
P10788 - Bocce Champs, Caboto Club, courtesy of the Caboto Club
 
P10805 - Windsor’s first indoor bocce courts at the Caboto Club, September 19th, 1972.  From left:  Ron Moro, club manager, Domenic Cantagallo, president, and Sergio Schincariol, building committee chairman.  Courtesy of the Windsor Star

P10788 - Bocce Champs, Caboto Club. Courtesy of the Caboto Club
 
P10805 - Windsor’s first indoor bocce courts at the Caboto Club, September 19th, 1972. From left: Ron Moro, club manager, Domenic Cantagallo, president, and Sergio Schincariol, building committee chairman.
Courtesy of the Windsor Star
 
P10657 - Sterling Construction soccer team. Courtesy of Richard Merlo
  The AC Roma, though bearing an Italian name, was truly an international team, reflecting the multicultural and multiethnic composition of the community. The president, Pat Marrocco, was of Italian background; the coach, Gus Moffat, was of Scottish origin. Two Italians, Mike Gatti and Bruno Capitanio, were part of the Teutonia Team.

P10657 - Sterling Construction soccer team. Courtesy of Richard Merlo
 
As early as 1936, a Windsor Daily Star article reported, “Italians scored their
 

seventh Border Cities International Baseball League win of the season.” In 1947, the Caboto created the first bowling team, followed a few years later by the Caboto Italian Women’s Club bowling league and bocce team. By the 1960s, and through 1970s and 1980s, the sport activities of Italians continued to expand: hunting, fishing, bocce, tug-of-war, hockey (Fogolar was champion of the Civic League), floor hockey, shuffle-board, golf.

Several ethnocultural communities expanded their sporting facilities in the 1980s. The most ambitious project being the Ciociaro Club sports complex, consisting of three tennis courts, a basketball and a volleyball court, a miniature golf course, 5 baseball diamonds, 2 soccer fields, 12 bocce courts, a trap-shooting range, a children’s playground, and a bicycle track.

Individuals of Italian background have, through the decades, participated in various sports and gained provincial, national and international recognition. They are listed among those most likely to be placed in the proposed Windsor Sports Hall of Fame:

   
1. Reno Bertoia played in 612 major league baseball games.
2. Hank Biasutti, basketball and baseball stand-out who played with the Toronto Huskies of the NBA in 1946-47, and the Philadelphia A’s of the American League in 1949.
3. Tony Chibi of Leamington won three Canadian bowling titles in four years — Calgary, 1960; Montreal, 1961; Vancouver, 1963. (Windsor Star, July 20th,1982).
4. Gino Fracas - twice college scoring champion at the University of Western Ontario - played with the Edmonton Eskimos from 1955-62. (Windsor This Month, June 1980)
5. Siro (Sedo) Martinello, founder and president of the Minor Hockey Association and Windsor Arena manager.
 
Italian participation and success in a variety of athletic activities and sports, initially foreign to them, are the true index of their rapid growth as ethnocultural communities, of their continuous interaction and of their integration within the larger multicultural Canadian society.
 
Back to previous page
 

The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.

 

Copyright © 2005 Windsor Mosaic Website. All rights reserved.