Four street children athletes for Rio Games

17Feb 2016
Our Reporter
The Guardian
Four street children athletes for Rio Games

TANZANIA is expected to send four athletes to this year’s inaugural Street Child Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro next month, Tanzania Street Children Sports Academy’s (TSC) director Mutani Yangwe confirmed yesterday.

Athletes

The Games will take place in Rio from March 14-20. Mutani said while in Brazil for the Games, the street children will also take over the prestigious Copacabana Palace Hotel for a unique Congress which will give them an opportunity to discuss and defend their rights - culminating in a declaration to be presented to governments, the UN and the International Olympic Committee, IOC.

Yangwe said the street children Village Community will be in the Favela community of Babilônia in the Leme neighborhood of Rio; and the Street Child Games will be the first international event to be hosted in that community.

The TSC director declined name the athletes and the coach who will represent the country at the Games, saying currently more athletes are undergoing intensive trainings. Coaches will recommend the best athletes to be picked.

“In the run-up to the Olympics, your support means we have the unique opportunity to remind the world why we first fell in love with sport, of its unique power to bring people together and to triumph over adversity. With just over six weeks to go, teams from five continents are preparing for the Street Child Games”, he said.

“Recognising some of the world’s most marginalised young people as athletes and inviting those who have lived in the shadows to step into the spotlight in the Olympic City.

The Games will take place in the heart of Rio - welcoming up to 60 young people who have been at risk of the streets to take part in Olympic-themed sports, celebrating the right of every child to play and express themselves in a safe setting”, he said.

He said events in Rio will include: 100m, 100m hurdles, 400m, long jump, shot put and 4x 100m relay.

As a way of helping less privileged children, TSC has been organising a number of sports activities which include inviting coaches from United Kingdom premier league giants, Arsenal.

The TSC football team in 2014 won the World Street Championship in Brazil and also emerged the runners-up in 2000 year in South Africa.

In 2012 the team visited Germany where it played against Spvgg Greuther Ferth, Karlsrutherss,VFB Stuttarg, VFL Bochum, 1860 Munich, FC Numremberg, TSG Hoffeheim and SC Freibug.