Transforma helps to spread Olympic fever in Rio
Transforma - the Rio 2016 education programme - staged its fifth sports festival in the Olympic host city’s biggest favela, Rocinha. More than 1,000 people of all ages took part end of August in the festivities, taking the opportunity to try out new sports, and get a flavour of next year’s Games.
The programme of sporting activities included the two sports that are returning to the Olympic programme at Rio 2016 after a prolonged absence: golf and rugby. There were also opportunities to try out hockey, badminton, tennis, boxing, goalball, fencing, five-a-side-side football for the visually impaired, athletics, volleyball, boccia, judo, taekwondo, wrestling and archery.
As well as the opportunity to try their hand at a variety of different sports, participants also had the chance to get up close and personal with the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots, Vinicius and Tom. There was also a demonstration of combat sports at Instituto Reação, a non-governmental organisation which provides judo tuition to youngsters in a number of Rio’s favelas and which was set up by Flavio Canto, who won an Olympic judo bronze at Athens 2004.
According to Alex Cardoso, sports projects coordinator for Rio’s municipal government, the Transforma festivals provide youngsters in the favelas with a marvellous opportunity to broaden their horizons. “Some children had never left the community where they live,” he explained. “The festival is a unique experience for them to get a feel for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
On 19 September, Transforma will take its sporting and educational “road show” to the Caio Martins Stadium in Niterói district of Rio.