VivaVôlei kids play beach volleyball with Giba
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, February 28, 2015 – Brazilian beach volleyball Olympian Giba was back on the sand Thursday to teach local children some volleyball fundamentals and get them excited about the upcoming 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
The former athlete played with the children in a mini court, and participated in a meet and greet with 25 young athletes from Carioca Shopping – one of VivaVôlei’s center based in Vicente de Carvalho.
Through curious and focused eyes, the children watched as Giba shared some of his 27 years of volleyball experience, in which he received 43 medals.
“Just to see the joy in every child’s face is really rewarding,” Giba said. “I also started from social projects and, being able to show them I have built my history from it and achieved what I have achieved, definitely is a motivation for their continuous life in volleyball.”
For the kids, being around an Olympic champion was a great motivation. One of the children, a 12-year-old Camila Dantas, said she used to practice ballet and gymnatists, but is now passionate for volleyball.
“Everyone dreams about meeting a volleyball player, especially Giba, and it was amazing,” she said. “Not only he talked to us, but we also had the opportunity to play with him here, learn and improve our moves.”
For Tiago Carvalho, age 11, meeting Giba was a full discovery moment.
“It was amazing playing with him,” he said. “VivaVôlei helps me a lot and I wish to become a volleyball player, just like Giba and all of the others.”
It wasn’t only VivaVôlei’s children who fulfilled their dream of meeting a volleyball idol, however.
Andréa Pontes, paracanoe athlete and volleyball fan was also excited about meeting the inspirational player.
“I had always had a huge admiration for the sport,” Pontes said. “Having the opportunity to play with him was a childhood dream coming true and a great achievement. I used to watch him on TV, observed his movements and wanted to perform the same.”
The free exhibition at Rede Globo’s kiosk in Copacabana runs until Sunday, March 1.
Created in 1999, VivaVôlei Institute, qualified as OSCIP - Organization of Civil Society Public Interest, aims to use sports as a socialization tool for kids from seven to 14 years old. Currently there are 73 active centers throughout 18 Brazilian states.