RIO DE JANEIRO, September 27, 2012
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is to support a second community programme in Rio de Janeiro to help disadvantaged young people through sport.
Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, and fellow Laureus Academy Member Emerson Fittipaldi teamed up in Rio to announce that the Bola Pra Frente Institute, a football focused project in the poor community of Muquico, Guadalupe, is to receive funding from global sports charity Laureus.
Established by Brazilian football star Jorginho, who played in the 1994 Brazil World Cup winning team, Bola Pra Frente Institute uses football to encourage youngsters to ‘be a star’ on the field and in family life, school and community.
Double Olympic champion Edwin Moses said: “With the 2013 and 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards being held in Rio de Janeiro, ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are keen to expand our involvement in Brazil. Laureus is much more than an Awards Ceremony. As our Patron Nelson Mandela has said ‘sport has the power to change the world and change people’s lives. Since we began, Laureus has raised over €55 million for projects which have improved the lives of more than one-and-a-half million young people.
“At the moment, we already support one very successful project in Brazil – Luta Pela Paz, where boxing is used as a means to keep young people off the streets and out of trouble and now I am delighted that Bola Pra Frente Institute is becoming a part of the Laureus Family. We hope over the next 18 months to send a message from Rio de Janeiro around the world showing how sport can make a difference to the lives of every one of us.”
At the visit guests were welcomed by the Bola Pra Frente Institute band as they toured the football pitch, where there some football sessions and penalty shoot-outs. This was followed by various presentations showing the facilities the project offered the young people, including an IT room and an Arts room. There was a question and answer session with Edwin and Emerson at the end of the visit.
Emerson Fittipaldi, who won the Formula One World Championship in 1972 and 1974 and created an interest in motor racing in Brazil which has become a passion today, said: “It was a wonderful and busy day. To visit two projects in Rio that are helping young people through such different sports shows the breadth of Laureus’ activities. Bola Pra Frente opens up many possibilities as it not only works with children but it will in the future open up a training centre which will educate project leaders who can then go and establish similar projects in Brazil and other countries.”