London, UK, 31st May 2013: Youth Council Members from Luta Pela Paz boxing academy, the Brazilian arm of Fight For Peace, are in London this week to take part in a Youth Exchange Programme with their UK counterparts.
The exchange programme, which is running from the 27th May to the 3rd June, will see seven Brazilian Youth Council Members aged between 16-30 years old visit the London academy which is based close to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the Borough of Newham. The aim of the programme is to embed tangible social legacy links between the two Olympic cities and help young people from differing backgrounds and cultures to come together and experience life in each other’s communities.
Laureus, who is an official partner of Luta Pela Paz/Fight For Peace, are producing a short film documenting the exchange and EMMY and BAFTA award winning filmmakers Mags Gavan and Joost van der Valk are currently filming a documentary about the project in Rio de Janeiro. The feature-length film will follow some of the most promising young boxers over the course of a year, both in the ring and in their personal lives, and will be shown at festivals around the world and broadcast on several European TV channels.
One of the Youth Council Members taking part in the exchange is 16 year old, Wanderson de Oliveira, also known as ‘Sugar’ after the famous boxer Sugar Ray Leonard. Wanderson, who has been at Luta Pela Paz for four years, has an amateur fight record of 22 wins and only two losses and he will also be participating in a fight in Romford this weekend.
Speaking during the Youth Exchange programme, Wanderson, said:
“I am really excited about seeing the Fight For Peace academy here in London and meet our friends in the UK. It is amazing to experience the cultural differences between our two cities and while we are here, we hope to learn about life in London after the Olympic Games and see for ourselves how sport has changed the lives of young people.”
Luke Dowdney MBE, Founder and Director of Fight For Peace, said:
“I am delighted that we can give these young people from Brazil the opportunity to visit our London academy and experience first-hand the cultural differences and the practices that we employ.
“Since we started this venture 13 years ago, Fight for Peace has transformed from a project with just ten young people to a group of international NGOs that supports 2250 young people each year. Our plans for Fight for Peace are amibitious and we are confident that with the backing of our valued supporters we can continue to grow and make a difference to the lives of young people in London, Rio and across the world.”
Vice Chair of the Laureus World Sports Academy and Rugby legend, Sean Fitzpatrick, said:
“Sport is a great international language and this is a perfect example of how it can be used for positive social change. I know the guys from Rio are having a great time meeting their counterparts in London and exchanging experiences. I visited Fight for Peace when I was in Rio in March for the Laureus World Sports Awards and I was very impressed with the work the project does. I really enjoyed meeting some of the academy students there.”