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Laureus Summit interview series: Gol de Letra, Brazil

Copyrights: Laureus Sport for Good Foundation

Laureus Summit interview series: Gol de Letra, Brazil

sportanddev spoke with Beatriz Panteleao, Executive Director of Gol de Letra, on the future of sport for development in Brazil.

sportanddev.org recently attended the Laureus Summit in Paris, where more than 130 organisations from all corners of the globe – all funded by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation – gathered to share best practice and discuss the future of sport for development. We spoke to five projects about what they do, and what they gained from the Summit.

sportanddev.org: Tell us about your project.

Beatriz: Gol de Letra is 20 years old and we work especially with sports that help to make better citizens. We work with boys and girls aged six to 16 years old, and we use sport as a tool – for example to learn how to win or to lose, learn how to respect the person you are playing against, and we also do reading and writing with the children. We use many kinds of sports – Capoeira, Muay Thai, table tennis, tennis, football, judo, skating – so children can choose and taste different sports. When they are young they want to change, which is why we have so many different activities. We work in Sao Paulo and Rio, and have our own unit, but also send our teachers to schools. One interesting thing we do is when children have been with us a long time and the teachers see them as leaders, we invite them to become a ‘monitor’. They stay for two years doing this and they are paid, and they work with the teachers.

What is the benefit of attending the Summit?

It’s very good to exchange knowledge and to know what other organisations are doing. Sport is a universal language, so even if I work in Brazil and someone else works in India, we can discuss the methodology. It is nice that we are not alone –  it’s good to know there are other crazy people like us, doing the same projects! This pushes you to continue, and I have also learnt some new skills here that I am going to give to my project in Brazil.

What would you like to see happen in the sport for development sector over the next five years?

When I think about Brazil, it would be good to have more places to practise sports. We have a lot of public places that are not used. For example, in the area where I am with Gol de Letra sometimes even the schools don’t have a field to do sports. It would be better to have more facilities in the public places which should be open to everyone, and this would help us to make it more popular. This is the point; the sports that we use do not need a lot of equipment. Maybe we do have some spaces, but in our country we need to take much more care of them.

Gol de Letra is 20 years old and we have 4,000 children, teenagers and youth involved. I think it is a big project now … but I also think that if the government doesn’t take care of it, we will always be small because compared to the size of Brazil, 4,000 is nothing. We want to arrive everywhere within many cities, but if it’s not the government doing it, then it’s really hard for a small initiative. I think in Brazil the government has a problem with capacity now, you look at some schools and they don’t even have the spaces for sports. In Rio where I live, if you take 100 schools then maybe half don’t have spaces to do sports so the children don’t get that opportunity.

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Author

Simon Lansley

Published

Friday, November 9, 2018 - 10:26

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