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Beyond Football: Bringing enthusiasm for all sports

03 Apr 2018
Olympism in Action Forum
Brazilian Eduardo Butter has been in Korea since August 2016 pursuing a Master’s degree in Sports Management. The graduate programme, Dream Together, invites people from developing countries to learn how to use sport as a tool to develop their communities.


In the run-up to the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires (5-6 October 2018), we looked at groups and individuals who, inspired by the power of sport to contribute to a better world, have used their initiative to organise projects and programmes to effect change at all levels.

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“Everyone knows Brazil as the football country, right? That's true – we love it, we love football. I watch, I play, but if you want to introduce a new sport, it's a huge challenge.”

“So imagine you're a kid, you're young, you live in Brazil or in another country in Latin America – Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay – and you don't like football. This means you get absolutely excluded from the sports environment. You don't play sports, you don't watch sports, and you may even be bullied at school.”

“I'm an optimist. I think that sports are the strongest tool to change a society. If you think about the aspects that can make a society better, you can think about music, you can think about arts, but for me there is nothing stronger than sports, especially when you talk about young people.”

“When I go back to Brazil, my goal is to introduce new sports in our society, which is, as I mentioned, dominated by football. I want to make sure that people who like other sports, who have other talents, other interests, can also be a part of these cooperative activities.”

“I saw the difference after the Olympic Games in Rio. We are a country that usually speaks only about football, and once we were chosen as the host things started to change. The Olympic Games served as this ignition, the first fire, the flame, to introduce new sports and new values, especially to children. I think they see the athletes as role models and even if they don't become athletes, they take away a good message.”

“The Olympic Games is the biggest sport event in the world, but it’s much more than that. It's a tool to deliver strong messages to people. People around the world watch the Olympics and they see the best athletes, they see the medals and the competition. But they're also seeing people from different countries competing together in peace, being friends. They're all partners and this is the beautiful message about the Olympic Games. That, for me, is the biggest outcome of the event.”

“When we talk about the Olympic Games and the values of the competition, we are pretty much talking about the way we want to live our lives right? We are talking about friendship, excellence, and respect.”

“Olympism is about using sport as a tool to make society better. You can adapt Olympism to each society, to each reality you're living in. If you live in a place where you have social issues, you can use sport to make it better. If you live in a place where gender equality is still a problem, then sports are a great tool to fight this. For me, Olympism is using the values of sport to adapt to each society's problem and to make things a little bit better. I see the Olympic Games as a tool that delivers the values that all of us want in our society.”

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