12/10/2017 – Ana  Luiza is only 12 years old, but has been doing sport at Fight for Peace for five years. She started by doing boxing training, but three years ago she fell in love with judo and for the last three months she has been getting to grips with capoeira.

Ana Luiza’s passion for sport is not restricted to boxing and martial arts. She also loves football, and it was through talking about this love and the difficulties that she faces in the sport that Ana was included in the BBC’s list of 100 inspirational and innovative women for 2017.

The Fight for Peace Rio Academy member began playing football aged four and, since then, she has dreamt of the moment that boys and girls can play the sport they love on equal terms. She participated in two interviews with the BBC in an initiative which aims to give greater visibility to women and girls who play what are traditionally considered male sports, and show how they overcome prejudice and barriers in their paths. “The boys don’t want me to play football, so I complain to the teachers at school and they make sure that the boys allow me to play”, explains Ana Luiza.

When asked what message she would give to her friends, Ana says: “I’d like to say to them that if they want to play football, they shouldn’t let the boys put them off by saying that they can’t play, because they can do what they want. I want them to never give up on their dreams.”