For 11-year-old schoolgirl Ana, it was the moment of a lifetime - a meeting with the legendary Cafu, one of the greatest ever FIFA World Cup stars and a giant of Brazilian football.
They are from different worlds. Laureus Academy Member Cafu is the only player to appear in four consecutive World Cups. He played in three straight World Cup Finals – winning in 1994 and 2002, when he was captain, and was runner-up in 1998. While Ana - or to give her her full name Ana Cláudia Cordeiro Lopes da Cunha - lives in Rocinha, the largest favela in Brazil.
What connects Cafu and Ana, apart from their mutual love of sport, is a unique drawing competition, which hundreds of young people from Laureus Sport for Good programmes around the world entered, and which Ana won.
Her winning design is engraved on the backside of the ‘Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Laureus Sport for Good Foundation”. The timepiece with a case made of black ceramic and a blue dial is the 12th special edition watch that IWC launches as part of its commitment to support Laureus Sport for Good. A portion of the proceeds from sales will be used to support the work of Laureus Sport for Good..
Cafu visited the Laureus supported Instituto Reação project in Rio to congratulate Ana and said: “I’m really happy that Ana won this inspiring competition which raises money to help deprived children around the world. It was very special for me to give her the prize. It’s wonderful to think that so many young people like Ana from different countries entered this competition. It really shows how effective Laureus is at building bridges between communities. I would like to thank Laureus Global Partner IWC Schaffhausen for their support with this wonderful initiative.”
After suffering bullying in school, Ana joined Instituto Reação at the age of five. Thinking that judo could help her with self-defence, she realised that the sport could teach her so much more. She learned important life skills, such as discipline, honesty and respect, and discovered that she could fight against adversity in many ways other than violence. What Ana enjoys most are the education workshops and the judo classes, because she believes these activities provide opportunities to make friends and learn new things.
One of those was the opportunity to enter the IWC drawing competition organised through the Laureus Sport for Good team. Ana said: “We were just drawing and having fun. I never thought I would get to the finals. I am so happy to have won. The subject chosen was ‘Time to Be Healthy’, and I think that sport is really important for people to be happy and have more energy. I organised my drawing in equal parts, showing that we have to go out and enjoy exercise and the outdoor life to be happy and healthy."
Flavio Canto, winner of the Olympic judo bronze medal at Athens in 2004, founded Instituto Reação in 2003. Students range from four to 24. During judo classes, they are taught not only about techniques in judo but also about values that are associated with judo, such as respect, honesty, discipline and integrity.
Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen said: “On behalf of our whole team at IWC, I would like to congratulate Ana on winning the drawing competition. It is wonderful that we can help to support programmes like Instituto Reação. As a keen sportsman, I am convinced that sport has a positive influence and a sustainable impact on young people’s lives. Ana’s drawing beautifully captures why it is important to integrate sport into your daily routine."