The CBMTT – Confederacao Brasileira de Muaythai Tradicional following the Sport Is Your Gang social initiative of the world governing body, IFMA, began to develop in 2006 the Project: GLOVES OF HOPE.
The project aims at providing marginalised youth the possibility of a healthier life. It began with a small group of young people in the port city of Rio Grande and over time was disseminated by other Municipalities and States of Brazil always through Federations affiliated with the CBMTT that, upon receiving authorization to replicate this project, should follow the precepts basic values of solidarity employed by the art of Muaythai. In this way, it becomes an important tool for building a better person and, consequently, a better society.
Nine months ago, this project was implemented in Morro da Gloria, one of the most dangerous and poorest conflict zones in the city of Porto Alegre (RS), CBMTT headquarters, by a young boy, only 11 years, Gil Geimes de Abreu, under the coordination of his father, a member of the CBMTT, the instructor Gilberto de Abreu.
Little Gil started practicing Muaythai in the city of Barracão, in the Province of Paraná, when he was only four years old. Today, he already has twelve wins in his young fighter career.
The project aims to use the potential of sport, specifically muaythai to provide an alternative focus away from destructive activities and an opportunity to build a healthy lifestyle, learn skills and self-defense techniques, gain self-respect and self-esteem, and importantly find a safe and trustworthy environment, building links with their peers and belonging to a community. Some 50 children from this community who previously had no access to sports or cultural activity currently benefit from this initiative.
The project is executed three times a week for children between the ages of 6 and 12 years and lasts for two hours, always at dusk in the after school hours. The sessions are structured similar to other Sport Is Your Gang initiatives which includes a session of physical activity following by a structured and moderated dialogue portion, promoting self- confidence, values and the courage to stand up for their own opinions in a respectful way.
The CBMTT’s proposal is to take Muaythai as a sport and philosophy of life to the students of the Lucas da Esperança Project, showing how this art can be used to help the individual’s socialization; the need to channel the energy and potential of young people of both sexes towards better integration into society. Following a formal evaluation process, outcomes were extremely positive, where it was found that the CBMTT members and club members involved in the programme experienced positive changes in their behaviour in family, school and community, becoming positive examples.
The main goal of the project is to promote education and health through sport and the important five pillars of the martial art – Respect, Honour, Tradition, Fair Play and Excellence. The idea is to be able to contribute to the process of social development, especially of young people; to provide participants with healthy physical activity; strengthen their roles as a member of a community; facilitate coexistence and the expansion of positive attitudes in the family, school and community; to guide young people, adolescents and adults for the best occupation of their free time, staying away from drugs and idleness; better integration of groups at the local, state and national level, and ultimately develop a spirit of leadership and creativity.
To that end, the CBMTT believes in its commitment to the construction of peace through sport, harmony and a better quality of life for the youth.