Viva Judo project aids the development of children and adolescents in Divinolândia
Sport is good for your physical and mental health. An example of how sport positively influences the lives of children and adolescents is the Viva Judo project run by the Divinolândia (SP) Judo Association with the support of Companhia Brasileira de Alumínio – CBA, Metalex and Instituto Votorantim. The project teaches the martial art to students between 6 and 17 for free, enhancing their physical, intellectual and emotional development. It currently has 180 participants. The classes take place in the Campestrinho district and downtown Divinolândia in the mornings, afternoon and evenings. Viva Judo coordinator, Danilo Pietrucci, explains that sport is good for discipline, respect and forming bonds. Judo is considered a complete sport and contributes to the physical and emotional development of children and adolescents. Our project has been a success and there is even a waiting list now. We have noticed that the benefits go beyond our students and extend to the entire family, which actively participates in the sporting lives of their children and are also encouraged to practice the sport”, he adds. Hairdresser Letícia Cristina Valdomiro enjoys watching her ten-year-old daughter Yasmim take judo classes and has noticed striking changes in her behavior. “She used to be shier and judo has helped her. She is less shy, is more responsible, more motivated at school and has improved her concentration. My husband really liked it and is now having judo classes too. I am always there, supporting both of them Judo is one of the most important things that has happened in our lives” she emphasizes. According to the manager of CBA’s mining operation in Poços de Caldas, Alexis Dias de Souza, supporting the Viva Judo project is aligned with the Company’s social responsibility strategy. “We invest in social initiatives aligned with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which benefit communities in our geographies by creating shared value. Seeing the physical and emotional development of these children and their families from judo is highly rewarding and motivational. Inclusion The social inclusion achieved by the sport aids the development of motor and cognitive skills, whilst boosting self-esteem and honing social skills, especially when practiced in groups. Milene de Fátima Ramos Munhoz is the mother of little Raul, 6, who has been participating in Viva Judo since the project’s inception in April. She says that her son has level I (mild) autism and that judo classes have really helped his social interaction, discipline and ability to follow routines. “I have always been in favor of sport and was looking for one that would suit Raul. There have been multiple positive changes since the onset, including behavioral changes. He is calmer, more obedient, pays more attention and has more control over his frustrations. This project is a blessing not just in Raul’s life, but for all his family and friends. It has been important, especially for me as a mother I was proud to see my child overcoming challenges”, she enthuses. Danilo Pietrucci says that the Viva Judo project teaches the martial art to students with varying levels of autism and the results have been excellent. “Our teachers and monitors are trained to deal with the students and we have seen clear improvements in them. We offer tailored, careful and affectionate classes, meeting each individual’s requirements”, he concludes.