Roberto Pira is a member of the Italian National Graeco-Roman wrestling team. He has been Italian Champion several times and has participated in many World Championships, Federal, Military, World Cups, European Cups and International Tournaments.
Apart from focusing on his preparations for the Olympics, he knows he needs to find a way to approach the labour market. To achieve his dream, Roberto had to find a job compatible with his training regime. That is why he decided to join the Athlete Career Programme.
"The agreement I signed with the Army in 2003 was going to expire in 2007. From 2003, to achieve elite athletic status, I had to practice three times a day and stop focussing on studies. The fear that I was compromising my future held me back during competition. Surfing the Internet, I came across the ACP programme. Although I had no intention of leaving my sport career behind, I got in touch with an ACP Manager who is an ex-Olympic athlete in Italy. After an initial phone interview, I knew she was the right person to help me and I scheduled a meeting. I told her my story and it seemed clear that the most suitable solution was to find a job that allowed me to earn a living and practice at the same time. We met several times and after evaluating various opportunities, I chose a job with Alitalia where I could combine shift-working with practice.
Thanks to this programme and to all the people who helped me, I found a solution perfectly tailored to my needs. To all who read my story I say: never ever give up!"