Time to celebrate - Cafu and Daniel Dias visit Brazilian winner of IWC-Laureus Drawing Competition

Two all-time greats of Brazilian sport paid a visit to a Laureus Sport for Good project founded by a third – to celebrate the creativity of one of the teenagers whose lives have been changed by the programme. 
Fifteen-year-old João Paulo attends the Bola Pra Frente programme in Rio de Janeiro, which was founded by Jorginho, the starting right-back of the Brazil team that won the 1994 World Cup in the USA. The programme uses sport to develop socio-emotional skills and promote citizenship within its community. But like all Laureus programmes, once a year it also encourages its members to enter the IWC Drawing Competition, an annual opportunity to celebrate and unleash the creative talent among the young people at over 300 Laureus-supported programmes worldwide. 

The competition is part of IWC Schaffhausen’s long-standing commitment to Laureus Sport for Good and to young people around the world, and sees young people in Laureus-supported programmes draw their own designs around a central theme.

This year, that theme was ‘Time For The Planet’, with a focus on the environment and climate change. The winner is decided by public vote. João Paulo’s winning drawing gives a clear message of people hugging each other around the planet, showing togetherness without discrimination and prejudice. It was through sport that João Paulo learnt that lesson. He’s been at Bola Pra Frente since he was nine years old.

João Paulo, said: ‘I really enjoy playing football and playing with my friends. That’s what motivated me to draw the picture and take part in the competition.”

Visiting Bola Pra Frente – which translates as ‘Pass the ball forward’ – to celebrate João Paulo’s award were two members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the former champions at the heart of Laureus Sport for Good and whose votes decide the Laureus World Sports Awards: Daniel Dias, the swimmer who is Brazil’s most-decorated Paralympian, and Cafu, who replaced Jorginho in the 1994 World Cup final in the USA and went on to captain the winning team at the competition in 2002. 
In a memorable visit, the Brazilian sporting legends not only discussed João Paulo’s success but participated in some of the sporting activities with the children who attend Bola Pra Frente in Rio’s Guadalupe neighbourhood.
For Cafu and Jorginho, it was a reunion of two veterans of the champion team of USA 94. Between them, they filled the right-back position for Brazil at five successive World Cups, from 1990 to 2006 – but their goal this time was to improve the lives of the young people at the programme.
Laureus Academy Member Cafu, said: “The programmes supported by Laureus Sport for Good are always about more than sport, and this wonderful competition gives these young people a chance to express themselves in a different way. I was really impressed with João Paulo, not just his art, but his character, too. I hope that winning this competition encourages him to do more with his special talent, and that it opens up opportunities for him in the future.
"Creating new opportunities for young people like João Paulo is what we are striving for with Sport for Good, and this programme here in Rio, started by my old teammate Jorginho, is a great example of what we can achieve by unlocking the power sport has to change the world.”
For Daniel Dias, this was a first visit to a Sport for Good programme since his induction into the Laureus World Sports Academy in 2021 – and all the more memorable as it took place in the city where he won four Paralympic golds in 2016.  
Laureus Academy Member Daniel Dias, said: “I was so excited to see the work the Sport for Good programmes do in my own country and Bola Pra Frente sets a great example. Sport can change young people’s lives – it changed mine – but it was also inspiring to hear about João Paulo’s creativity. Partnerships – like the one with IWC – allow us to give so much more to these communities and these kids.” 
Franziska Gsell, CMO of IWC Schaffhausen, said: “Our longstanding partnership with Laureus reflects our commitment to drive societal change and support young people and the annual IWC Drawing Competition has been a cornerstone of our partnership. At IWC, we are deeply impressed by the creativity and effort the young participants put into their drawings. Congratulations on winning the 2022 edition, João Paulo!”
Jorginho, the founder and president of Instituto Bola Pra Frente, said: "At Instituto Bola Pra Frente, we use sport, education and culture to enhance the transformation of children’s lives, teenagers, youths and their families. We encourage them all to dream, and to achieve this, we use the language of football in our daily lives. João's success in the IWC Drawing Competition is a victory for us too, showing us that our sports-educational program can inspire dreams. In his drawing, João dreamt of a better and more inspiring world.
"Having the presence of Daniel Dias and my former teammate, Cafu, to congratulate João is a historic and deeply special moment for me and for all of us at Instituto Bola Pra Frente. It's these moments that we remember that sport has the ability to unite and build a sense of belonging in the world! I express my sincere gratitude to Laureus for the partnership and the reminder that no matter where we play, wherever we are located in the world, we are blessed to be immersed in the spirit of sport."
Sport has the power to change the lives of young people around the world.  This has been at the heart of the work of Laureus Sport for Good for more than 20 years.
Since 2005, Laureus has worked with IWC Schaffhausen to give young people a chance to combine sport and art changing lives and inspiring others. This opportunity to use art as an outlet perfectly complements Laureus’ use of sport as a tool to engage children and young people, bringing them confidence, resilience and team spirit, health and friendship.  

Email Sign up

Email Sign-up

Sign up for all things Laureus

Get regular updates throughout the year