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BRAZIL: 3,000 student athletes compete

Annual Salesian Schools Network sporting competition held


(MissionNewswire) Salesian Schools Network of Brazil has been holding the sporting competition Nordestão Salesiano (Salesian Northeast) since 1984. This year the competition took place in Recife at the Salesian Institute of the Sacred Heart. Close to 3,000 student athletes from 16 Salesian schools from the Province of Brazil-Recife were involved.

The students spent five days competing in dance, rhythmic gymnastics, judo, karate, swimming, volleyball, beach volleyball, chess, basketball, futsal and handball. The event promoted a cultural exchange and fraternity among all members of the Salesian educational community in the northeast.

“On behalf of the Salesian educational communities of Recife, the Salesian Institute of the Sacred Heart is proud and happy to be able to thank the students, educators, family and friends, who have made this 36th Nordestão a real celebration,” said Father Francisco Eliano Queiroz, rector, at the close of the event.

According to José Carlos Cunha, a sports coordinator who has been involved in the last 11 competitions, each Nordestão is a unique experience. “We are happy, because the goal of the Nordestão is not only to reward athletes with medals, but to show the importance of respect, good behavior and company.”

Student athletes have been training for the Nordestão since January. The support of the students’ family has been important for their ongoing motivation.

Suelen Prado and Alexander da Silva supported their daughter Júlia Prado, an 8-year-old swimmer, and went with her to all the races. Prado said, “The Nordestão was an incredible experience for my daughter. Despite being so small, she was able to cope with many emotions. And because we were all together, we were able to keep her anxiety in check at the time of the races.”

Letícia Fontes dos Santos also competed. She is a beach volleyball athlete who had to deal with an injury during the games. Like all the athletes who participated in the Nordestão, she was able to count on the support of educators, family members and the school nurse. She explained, “In these five days, I learned a lot and gained a lot of wisdom. Everyone took great care of me. I got hurt during a game and they helped me with everything I needed. And in the end I was very happy, because we managed to win gold in the Beach Volleyball tournament under-15.”

Salesian schools play a vital role is helping to ensure youth gain an education and advance on to skills training to find and retain long-term employment. According to the World Bank, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on Brazil with poverty tripling in 2021. Nearly 17 million people fell into poverty in the first quarter of the year and the poverty rate now is higher than it was a decade ago. Researchers estimate that 12.8% of Brazil’s population, some 27 million people, are now living below the poverty line.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS – Brazil – “Nordestão Salesiano 2023”: cultural and sporting enrichment, in a family atmosphere

Salesian Missions – Brazil

World Bank – Brazil

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