The numbers are impressive: 3.6 million children and youths benefited in more than 20,000 schools in 3,018 municipalities. And behind every number, a life story that almost always began as a sad tale but wound up with a happy second half.
Created in 2003 by the Lula government, the City Sports and Leisure Project Project (Pelc) makes it possible for all age groups as well as people with disabilities to practice physical, cultural and leisure activities. In addition, it encourages social interaction and the training of coaches and community leaders while fostering research and the dissemination of knowledge, contributing to sports and leisure activities being treated as universal policies and rights.
Launched in 2013, the Athlete in the School program is a partnership between the federal government, states, Federal District, municipalities and the Brazilian Olympic and Paralympic committees. The objectives are to encourage the practice of sports, make access to sports more democratic, develop and disseminate Olympic and Paralympic values among teenage students, stimulate the formation of school athletes and identify and guide talented young athletes.
One of the main actions of the 2016 Brazil Medals Plan, the Podium Grant program distributes monthly amounts between R$ 5,000 and R$ 15,000 for athletes who are among the 20 best in the world and can compete for a place on a podium in 2016.
In addition to athletes, coaches also can receive grants (up to R$ 10,000 per month).
The federal government also is working to build or renovate 22 training centers (21 Olympic sports and one for the Paralympic Games), following the recommendation of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee (CPB) to unify all sports in one location.
Placing Brazil among the top ten countries in the Olympics and in the top five in the Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016 is the goal of the Brazil Medals 2016 Plan, launched in 2012 by President Dilma.
The plan is investing R$ 1 billion in the Olympic cycle that began in 2013 and ends in 2016. Of these, two-thirds come from the Federal Budget (OGU) and one-third from state-owned companies. These funds are new; that is, they will be added to the R$ 1.5 billion that the federal government already has invested in Olympic sports.
In 2014,the Athlete Grant program reached its fullest extent, covering 7,752 athletes in the following categories: Student (313), Base (290), National (4,875), International (1,808), Olympic/Paralympic (247) and Podium (219). Grants range from R$ 370 (Student and Base categories) to R$ 3,100 (Olympic/Paralympic), while the Podium category awards higher and more variable amounts.
We received over 1 million foreigners with open arms, who poured US$ 1.58 billion into Brazil in just two months (June and July) and took back in their luggage an overwhelming desire to return soon to the land of football, cheerful people, competence and world-class infrastructure.