Foundation coaches have been in Rio sharing their experiences of working with police and young people to tackle gang crime on some of North London’s most notorious estates.
The Rio UPPs or ‘pacifying units’ have their own projects working with local primary school teachers in the favelas, and the aim will be to replicate the success of our projects in Rio.
The new partnership is part of ‘Premier Skills’, an international programme run by the British Council and the Premier League that uses football to develop a brighter future for young people around the world. This is the first time that a Premier League club has worked with the programme to create a formal partnership with an overseas community.
The first stage of training for the Brazilian military police took place last week. Forty police officers, representing all the UPPs in Rio which have already established some kind of social work in their community, took part.
Grant Cornwell MBE, Chief Executive Officer, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “Tottenham Hotspur Foundation runs a number of successful projects aimed at improving social cohesion, using sport as a catalyst to develop the potential of young people and create safer communities.
“Through our award-winning community development programmes, we’ve seen first-hand the positive impact football can have, especially at grassroots level, helping to support young people in a range of engaging, constructive activities.
“We are delighted that, with the support of Premier League and the British Council, we are able to work in partnership with Rio State Paramilitary Police to share ideas and develop initiatives to support young people in some of Rio’s most disadvantaged communities.”
Our Brazilian international midfielder, Sandro, met young people from Rio’s ‘Esporte Seguro’ community programme when they visited London with the British Council and Premier League two years ago to observe the work of Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
Sandro said: “It is great to see that Tottenham Hotspur, through its Foundation, is using its appeal as a Premier League football club to do something that will make a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate in my home country of Brazil.
“I had the privilege of meeting young people from the Esporte Seguro project on their visit to London two years ago, and it is fantastic to see that a groundbreaking project in Rio has resulted from discussions that have been had since then.”
For more information on Premier Skills, please visit http://www.britishcouncil.org/society/sport/current-programmes/premier-skills