"Those who lose dreaming are lost."
Australian Aboriginal Proverb
Since I started playing volleyball at the age of 9, I wanted to play professionally in Italy. Eighteen years later I was finally able to fulfill my childhood dream. It is impossible to question that in Italy volleyball is played at a very high level, but also now I can personally confirm that clubs, managers and players also handle themselves in a very different way from the rest of the volleyball world and are characterized by great passion and dedication.
In my experience as an athlete, Italy was everything I expected... and a little more; it was the place where I tested my abilities and found my limits but from an administrative point of view I would have to point out some important details such as the fact that volleyball IS NOT A PROFESSIONAL SPORT!
Believe it or not, volleyball in Italy is not officially considered a professional sport. The only professional sports are soccer (calcio) up to the C series (Lega Pro), basketball (pallacanestro), motorcycling, boxing, cycling and golf. This makes the contracts of the Leagues most people think are professional (in particular the Serie A1 and the Serie A2 for males and females) to actually not having any legal backing and the clubs and presidents can decide quite autonomously whether or not to pay the players and staff. An experience of thiskind happend to my already in my first year as a "professional player" in Italy which made that perfect dream of playing volleyball in Italy starting to have some imperfections ... will continue.