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Project Collects Sneakers for Future Athletes

04/05/2017 - 14h15

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BRUNO MESTRINELLI
COLLABORATION FOR FOLHA, IN BAURU (SP)

In the athletics track of Jardim Petrópolis, in Bauru (329 km from São Paulo), those who see the wide steps of Ana Beatriz Trajano, 13, do not imagine the difficulties she goes through in order to train.

The young woman, who attends daily the project funded by a city association, did not even have a pair of sneakers for the activities.

Given the lack of footwear of most of the 1,500 children attended, ABDA (Bauruense Aquatic Sports Association, in its Portuguese acronym) started collecting donated shoes for future athletes. At least 1,000 pairs of sneakers have already been distributed.

"Before I trained in my mother's sneakers, I now have mine to train," celebrates Ana Beatriz.
"This is a very difficult area here, and many of them here do not have parents," says the coach, the retired Military Police officer Alcides dos Santos Gonçalves, 78.

"We take these kids off the street," says Gonçalves, who was responsible for starting the project 16 years ago.

Today, the athletics track - still of gravel - has already received improvements. A gym and administrative spaces were also built.

The children get fruit after the activities. The donation of sneakers continues and the project may soon be open also at nights - the lighting is being finalized.

But there are still difficulties. "I often have to come here at night with the Military Police because of the vandalism, people invade the place, unfortunately".

Donato Fidelis/Divulgação
At least 1,000 pairs of sneakers have already been distributed
At least 1,000 pairs of sneakers have already been distributed

Translated by MARINA DELLA VALLE

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