20/10/2016 – Ewerton joined Fight for Peace eight years ago and hasn’t looked back since, becoming an established boxing coach and integral member of the Youth Council. Here he tells us about finding a second family at Fight for Peace:

My name is Ewerton, I am 16 years old and I discovered Fight for Peace through my cousins and friends. I used to be very hyperactive and I needed to find activities to improve my focus. In 2009, I began doing boxing and later, in 2011, I began doing judo – the martial art that I came to identify most with. Today I am a judo green belt and I am also a member of the Rio Academy Youth Council.

When I began doing combat sports, I imagined that I would start hitting everybody and that I would know how to defend myself when necessary. Everything made me want to fight people at that time. But when I started training judo with my coach Bira, I learned the importance of having discipline both inside and outside of the gym. Nowadays I am a much calmer person and I also try to resolve problems by talking about them.

Through Fight for Peace’s Citizenship classes, I learned to be able to express myself better and also to respect other people. In addition, I learned to accept opinions that are different to mine and I realised that sometimes my attitudes were very sexist.  Now my mind is much more open and I am much more receptive and flexible.

Fight for Peace is like a family for me. I am currently doing my first year of secondary school and my aim is to go to university to study Physical Education. My dream right now is to compete in an Olympic Games, but I think that this is the dream of every athlete that does an Olympic sport. Before, my dream was to have a family, but I have already achieved this – my son Bernardo has just turned four months old.