Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 3, 2015 - The first of two FIVB-backed development training centres was opened in Morro da Formiga, Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday with FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° joining children on a great day of volleyball and fun for the local community.
The #VolleyballYourWay Viva Vôlei Training Centre in the favela neighbourhood of Formiga is part of the International Volleyball Federation's commitment to leaving a sustainable legacy in Rio de Janeiro after the Olympics.
President Graça said: "One thing I am very proud about is to make this programme of Viva Vôlei that we have in 13 states in Brazil - without any government money - and we have more than 200,000 children in poor communities participating. When we come to a community, the most important thing is to motivate, to stimulate the children to go to school and to study. Because if they don't study, they don't play volleyball." Champions for Peace ambassador Pedro Young and President Graça at the #VolleyballYourWay Viva Vôlei Training Centre in Formiga
The centre in Formiga, which the FIVB will be partly
funding up until 2020, is part of the successful Viva Vôlei programme launched by the Brazilian Volleyball Confederation (CBV) in 1999. Its key objective is to use volleyball as a vehicle to educate and socialise children from low-income communities throughout Brazil and promote integration and social inclusion.
IOC Athletes’ Commission Member and Peace and Sport ambassador Pedro Young said: "When you have these programmes, especially in the poorer areas, where kids don't have many good opportunities, sport gives them a tool to leave bad influences behind and build a better future."President Graça discusses volleyball with the children in Formiga
Vinicius, one of the children at the centre's opening on Tuesday, welcomed the programme: "Volleyball is a team sport and brings a lot of kids together to play. It's an opportunity that you have to take advantage of. Get it and never let go."
More than 600 children will participate in the programme as the FIVB looks to inspire the next generation of Brazilians to take up volleyball.
President Graça added: "Volleyball is the sport of peace. Everybody can play - young, women, men, old people. Because there is a net in the middle, there is no contact, there is no struggle, there is no fighting. Which is why we are the sport of the family and the sport of peace."
A second training centre will be opened in Forte do Leme on Thursday.Quick links - FIVB in Rio:
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