F.I.P.S.A.S. (Italian Angling and Diving Activities Federation)

Ferraro contacted the Italian Angling Federation in 1948, in order to organise the emerging activities from a sports point of view, which at the time mainly involved underwater hunting. Carlo Manstretta, the current Federation's Secretary replied enthusiastically to Ferraro's requests, and in 1949 underwater activities became part of the FIPS (the Italian Angling Federation).
Ferraro, who gained experience as a director of CONI (Italian National Olympic Committee) in Tripoli, was certainly in favour of placing divers under the aegis of FIPS rather than creating a new federation from scratch. His proposal was accepted and divers were assigned FIPS member cards. Later, the FIPS added the letters -AS- to its acronym, which in Italian stands for Italian Angling and Diving Activities Federation, to ensure the independence of the sector from the large majority of angling sport activities. Gigi himself was appointed as the director in this sector. As a result, fin-swimming and underwater hunting internal and external organisations were set up, competitive facilities, programs for local, national and international competitions, congresses, conferences, competitive regulations, training schools and associations.
Ferraro found himself at the head of a self-governing association that attracted all divers. Inland and deep sea rod fishing and other emerging water activities were too different to be subject to the same rules: even though the only activity carried out by the divers, at the time, was the hunting of fish in their own environment (which was referred to as "fishing" as a tribute to the FIPS: at least in this respect!) However, Ferraro knew that underwater activities were likely to increase in number and variety.
He was director of the FIPSAS underwater sector for over twenty years during which the Federation became one of the most influential members of international underwater activities.
After over twenty years of activities and international successes, Ferraro realised that this commitment had become too taxing for him. He was appointed at a time when no one could match his experience in the sector, now many would be able to carry on the work he started. On March 25th 1973 in Rome, in the Federation Palace at the divers' meeting that Ferraro called after announcing his resignation, almost all fin-swimming and spear-fishing competitors were present. Ferraro gave personal and family related reasons for leaving and explained that other professional commitments prevented him from devoting the necessary time to the FIPS diving sector. The reaction of people taking part in the meeting was touching: no, someone like him could not leave. Ferraro was taken by surprise and thanked everyone. He admitted that a unanimous vote would have induced him to reconsider his decision. Castellazzi, the Lombardy region representative, took him aside and informed him, to his great embarrassment, that he had received instructions to vote in favour of his resignation.
Ferraro did not hide his disappointment. However, he seized the opportunity before him: now he was obliged to resign and Castellazzi's position worked to his favour, after all. Even though, he specified, that was a worrying alarm bell. His suspicion was right: his resignation triggered a series of consequences within the Federation: the divers' independence, which up to that moment was guaranteed by agreements in place and protected by Luigi, went down the drain. Duilio Marcante, who was asked to succeed him, refused in the name of solidarity with his friend Ferraro, so Castellazzi himself was elected.(2)