05/03/2018 – Fight for Peace has staged its first Rio de Janeiro based martial arts tournament of 2018, providing an opportunity to showcase both the combat sports and the holistic support offered by the international organisation. Fight for Peace supports young people to realise their potential through education, youth leadership, employability, support services and combat sports programmes.

Staged in the Complexo da Maré community, the tournament saw many family members and friends attend to support Fight for Peace athletes – all of whom had the chance to test their mettle in a competitive sporting environment. This visibility in the community is important in building confidence and self-esteem among those competing.

Fight for Peace’s Youth Council supported in the running of the event while Support Services staff were on hand to answer queries on registering for official documentation and signing up to formal education courses. Likewise, the Employability team was present at the event, offering information on the job market and new labour laws. In this way, those present at the tournament were able to get a complete idea of all of the services offered at Fight for Peace, as well as seeing competitive action in judo and Brazilian jiu jitsu and presentations in capoeira and wrestling.

“The tournaments that we organise show just how positive our work is in this community. The young participants are recognised as good people and serve as role models for other young people in the area”, explained Ana Caroline, Project Coordinator at Fight for Peace in Rio de Janeiro.

One person who serves as inspiration to others is Fight for Peace Assistant Judo Coach, Raíssa Lima. She shared her thoughts on the tournament: “One of the things that most caught my attention was seeing everyone from the community together supporting the athletes. I was also struck by the emotion of those competing for the first time, this made me remember my first competition and the nerves I felt. Every smile I saw, whether it was from someone competing or supporting, made me think of how grateful I am to be part of Fight for Peace, a place which everyday makes us believe that we can achieve anything!”