The young Brazilians from disadvantaged backgrounds are spending the week receiving specialised coaching and sport science testing to support their journeys to becoming Brazil’s future athletics stars.
For many of the athletes, it is the first time that they have left Brazil and training at Qatar’s state-of-the-art facilities with the Aspire Academy’s athletics specialists is providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“This is one of the biggest and best experiences in my life because I’m studying sport science in addition to being an athlete,” said 20-year-old sprinter Rayneson Pereira Silva. “So being here and seeing the facilities is a very good experience with great learnings.”
Travelling to an alien part of the world is providing the opportunity for the athletes to experience a completely different culture and benefit from the training camp in more ways than just sport, with cultural visits around Qatar also featuring as part of their programme.
“I expected people to be more reserved but everyone has been very friendly. What I like the most about Qatar is that everyone speaks about their culture and they’re very proud of it,” added Silva.
Commenting on the Shine project, Secretary General of the QOC, Dr Thani Abdulrahman Al Kuwari, said: “Through Shine, we were determined to spread the Olympic spirit and give these young Brazilian athletes a sporting, educational and cultural experience that will have a deep impact on their future lives.
“The last time I saw them was when we welcomed them to Bayt Qatar, our hospitality house at the Rio 2016 Olympics, and showed them what they would experience when they visited Qatar. It is wonderful to see them here in Doha enjoying our facilities, culture, and passion for sport first-hand and to watch how our Shine project has come to life. I hope to welcome many of them back here again for the World Championships in 2019.”
The Shine project is the QOC’s Rio 2016 legacy project and was established to leave a meaningful impact on the lives of Brazil’s talented young athletes.
The project is a partnership between the QOC, Aspire Academy, Qatar Athletics Federation, Rio de Janeiro Athletics Federation and Futuro Olimpico, an NGO founded by Brazilian Olympic bronze medallist, Arnaldo de Oliveira – who has attended the training camp with the athletes and plans to apply his own learnings to his coaching when he returns to Brazil.
Speaking about the experience, Arnaldo said: “This is the best thing that these athletes have ever experienced and they are very thankful for it.
“The athletes have a lot to gain from training at Aspire Academy, from the facilities and the expertise. We’ll take the methodology that we learn here and apply it to our trainings in Brazil.
“The facilities here are really amazing. Unfortunately we don’t have the same infrastructure in Brazil so we’ll utilise our experience and take our learnings back to Brazil”.
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