Today known as Fondazione Bentegodi, this long-lived sports club has had its roots in our region for over 150 years.
It was established by the young physician Marcantonio Bentegodi, a supporter of the principle “a health mind in a healthy body” who, in addition to being a medical doctor, dedicated his life to associations and sports.
After being elected as a municipal councillor at first and later on, in 1868, as a member of the Provincial Board of Health, he succeeded, as a public administrator, in fulfilling a project he had had for along time: a local sports club that was the first in the nation. He succeeded by involving friends and esteemed citizens such as the poet Aleardo Aleardi, the attorney Carlo Inama, Count Guglielmo Mosconi, Emanuele Patuzzi, the attorney Agostino Renzi Tessari and many others. Together with them, on 1 June 1869, he founded the Verona Club of gymnastics and fencing, of which he immediately became the president and financier.
Few years later, on 9 August 1873, Bentegodi died at the untimely age of 55. In his last will and testament, he left his conspicuous assets to the city of Verona, writing the following, “For the physical education of the Veronese youth, I want one fourth of the aforementioned income to go to the teaching of gymnastics and fencing”.
About three years later, the Marcantonio Bentegodi Municipal Intuition of gymnastics and fencing was thus created.
After the original disciplines of fencing and artistic gymnastics, 7 more were added over the course of this past century and a half: swimming, water polo, weightlifting, table tennis, trampoline, diving and athletics.
With his donation to the city, Bentegodi allowed Verona to develop a healthy and solid sports centre, this is why it was the citizens’ will to name the Municipal Stadium and the Bovolino di Buttapietra Technical Agricultural Institute after him.
Today, the Bentegodi Foundation has a 150 medals to its name, of which 40 are gold; in 1967, it was awarded the CONI Gold Star for Sports Merit, and later on, in 2002,the CONI Gold Ribbon for Sports Merit.
As a testimony to the efforts made by the Sports Club to preserve its founder’s values, hundreds of qualified coaches train athletes from the age of 3 to over 60 every day.
The variety of disciplines that are taught, which include both individual and team sports, embodies the will to teach the spirit of getting together and socializing with others, while also helping people develop their individual personality and self-confidence.