35 boys and girls on the Hydro-sponsored Alunorte Rain Forest soccer team from Brazil are ready for the time of their lives – to play in the world’s largest youth football tournament taking place in Norway next week. This Friday they visited Hydro’s headquarters in Oslo.
In Barcarena, Pará, a program that combines soccer and education has proven decisive in efforts to combat absenteeism and school drop-out. Since 2001, Hydro has cooperated with Barcarena municipality to motivate young people to do well at school through educational activities – and the all-important icing on the cake – the chance to travel to Oslo and participate in the soccer tournament ‘Norway Cup’.
Since 2001, more than 14,000 young people have taken part in the educational program. This year’s teams mark the 15th year running of Hydro-sponsored teams at the tournament.
Over the years, thousands of youth have stepped up their efforts at school in order to have a chance at making the Alunorte Rain Forest team. Pupils trying out for the team not only need to display good soccer skills, but also demonstrate good behavior and good performance at school. This year’s selected players come from 15 participating school across Barcarena.
Carlos Neves, Industrial Director at Hydro Alunorte, says the program has been able to change the lives of many young people. “We believe that sport is fully aligned with education, because through it we can transform lives and dreams into reality – ensuring greater discipline and better performance at school", Neves said.