Athlete-led project making a difference in Brazil

Athletes are continuing to mobilise to make a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Brazil, a project called #WinningTogether has been launched by judo athlete Flávio Canto to provide food baskets to families in need during quarantine.  

  • Flávio Canto is an Olympic medal-winning judoka who now runs a social enterprise in Rio de Janeiro called Instituto Reação.  
  • He recently launched the #VencendoJuntos (#WinningTogether) campaign to deliver food baskets to families in need across Brazil. 
  • To find out more about social entrepreneurship and how you can use your athlete status to make a positive impact, check out the Athlete365 Business Accelerator programme. 

Brazil has been one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, but an athlete-led project is now attempting to unite sports in a solidarity movement to help with relief efforts 

The #VencendoJuntos (#WinningTogether) campaign was recently launched by Flávio Canto, an Olympic bronze-medal winning judo athlete and social entrepreneurWith support from the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB), athletes, and sporting and non-sporting organisations, it is seeking to raise BRL 10 million in donations of food baskets to help 33,000 families in Brazil over a three-month period. 

To reach those families, the project has partnered with the Sports Network for Social Change (Rede Esporte pela Mudança Social/REMS) and has the support of UNESCO to map communities facing social vulnerability across the country. The families will receive digital food vouchers with a monthly value of BRL 100 for three months. 

Athletes at the centre of the project  
The project has attracted big-name athlete ambassadors from a number of Olympic sports, including Bernardo Rezende (volleyball)Daiane dos Santos (gymnastics), Gabriel Medina (surfing), Gustavo Kuerten (tennis)Hortência Marcari (basketball) and Lars Grael (sailing). Some of these athletes’ own foundations and institutions will be involved with the distribution of the food supplies 

For its founder Flávio, #WinningTogether is part of a wider, long-term mission to use his status as an athlete and Olympic medallist to create positive change in disadvantaged communitiesOver the past 15 years, the two-time Olympian has successfully established the Instituto Reaçãowhich helps young Brazilians develop their skills through sport and education in the Rocinha favela of Rio de Janeiro.    

“The #WinningTogether project has sport in its DNA,” says Flávio. The COB’s strength, along with athletes and institutions, and [that of] Time Brasil [Team Brazil] on social media, has the potential to bring many names into the campaign. It is a very important partnership at this time. 

To find oumore about social entrepreneurship and how you can use your athlete status to make a positive impact, check out the Athlete365 Business Accelerator programme.