VivaVôlei plants seed of growth
for Brazilian volleyball
Brazil’s role as one of the giants of volleyball and beach volleyball
shows no sign of slowing down but not only on the court as their
internationally renowned VivaVôlei social inclusion programme
continues to go from strength to strength.
VivaVôlei was introduced in 1999 by the then-president of the
Brazilian Volleyball Federation (CBV) and now FIVB President Dr. Ary
S. Graça F° with the aim of using sport as a tool to develop the
potential and sociability of 7 to 14-year-olds.
Similar to the FIVB’s Cool Volley which provides volleyball education
to young children, VivaVôlei brings the added benefit of social
education for under privileged and low income communities and
it has been an unparalleled success. There are currently 73 centres
across eight Brazilian states and the programme earned the UNESCO
seal of approval in 2003. Domestically it received approval from the
National Council for the Rights of Children and Adolescents, which
allowed VivaVôlei to raise funds through the National Fund for
Children and Adolescents.
Currently Brazil’s women are Olympic champions, their men are FIVB
world champions and their men and women are FIVB beach volleyball
world champions but the idea behind VivaVôlei is not to only develop
new players but to encourage social inclusion and reinforce the
education of the children and youth involved.
It’s a big challenge for CBV, to bring the idea of citizenship to
children and convey principles for the development of each of
them,” VivaVôlei national co-ordinator Marcos Aurelio said. “That is
the goal, not necessarily just to train athletes.
We can then use the successful Brazilian teams and the Rio-
based RJX team that have just won the Superleague crown to keep
encouraging them further.”
The most recent centre was opened in Niteroi, the fifth largest city
in Rio de Janeiro state. The ferry company CCR Barcas was brought
into help provide support for the programme and 1992 Olympic
champion Carlão was on hand to dispense advice to the 80 children
present at Icarai Beach.
It is only a small thing to bring the medal I won for our country and
it is an incentive for the kids to carry on with sport,” Carlão said.
Their eyes light up when they see it, which is great.
I try to pass on everything that I learned and gained from volleyball
and one of the responsibilities of a professional athlete is to pass on
the values we learned on the court.”
The VivaVôlei programme is showing no sign of slowing down and
new areas of the country are being sought for the next locations for
programmes to open up.
The children were thrilled with the presence of Olympic champion Carlão.
Eighty children participated in the programme at Icarai Beach in Niterói.