This project will broaden the rugby programme in Eldorado, a violent slum area in the Sao Paulo periphery. Activities include: regular rugby training of boys' and girls' teams from age 11, removing social-economic barriers through matches and links with private schools, and working in youth prisons to promote tag rugby. Children will have positive role models, develop important life skills and learn about Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship, which are core values of rugby.
In Brazil, focus on sport is on becoming professional so most children have no opportunity to develop sports skills. A lack of child protection policies means exploitation of children in sport is widespread. In Eldorado, one of the poorest communities in the Sao Paulo periphery, children are easily drawn into crime and violence, compounded by short 4 hour school days and no extra-curricular alternatives. Young people lack aspirations, basic abilities and skills to break out of the poverty cycle.
Equally important to exercise and physical activity, are the values which rugby develops (teamwork, respect, discipline, enjoyment and sportsmanship.) The Coaches Across Continents methodology builds self-esteem and teaches about leadership, health and gender issues. The work goes beyond developing a love of sport; it helps the young to develop as people, to acquire values and to prepare for other roles. It is a model for how to work with vulnerable communities in a non-exploitative manner.
The expectation for the first year is to have 240 young people in Brazil with a passion for rugby and who know how to play. Budding youth monitors will obtain a first job experience through the programme increasing their knowledge and competencies. They will have learnt values such as respect, teamwork and other life skills. Locally certified community coaches will reduce reliance on international coaches.The network of rugby in Brazil will grow and strengthen to benefit other communities.
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