Future Olympian takes steps towards her dream

07/02/2018 – Rebeca was only seven years old when she saw Fight for Peace athletes running in Vila Olímpica, a city run sports facility in Rio de Janeiro. From that point, her curiosity was sparked to know more about this international organisation which was founded in Complexo da Maré. Once she had sat in on a boxing class at Fight for Peace, she was hooked and immediately signed up to classes. Ten years on and Rebeca is still boxing.

It was Rebeca’s coaches, Roberto Custodio and Douglas de Noronha, that first identified her potential and encouraged her compete in the Brazilian Boxing Championship. The young athlete won the competition and, as a result, was invited to a training camp with the Brazilian national boxing team.

The Brazilian Boxing Confederation has set up a national training programme for young boxers, developing athletes mentally and physically in preparation for the next Olympic Games. 15 of the 16 young people on the programme were selected from organisations who use boxing as a personal development tool to distance young people from crime and violence.

Rebeca is currently in her third year at secondary school, is a participant on Fight for Peace’s Fearless programme and represents the sport of boxing on the organisation’s Youth Council. On the benefits of boxing she said: “I dedicated myself to boxing and, as a result, was able to get to where I am today. The sport motivates me and makes me believe that I can do anything that I set my mind to.” This final phrase highlights some of the values that Fight for Peace aims to pass on to its members, seeking to work with them to face the obstacles in their lives and become champions, in the ring and in life.

Rebeca also praises how boxing is taught at Fight for Peace: “one thing that I really like in the boxing sessions at Fight for Peace is how the coaches motivate us. They really encourage us and they tell you that you will succeed with so much conviction! When I was training, it was as if they believed more in me than I believed in myself! And this made me believe even more in my potential.”

In 2018, three Fight for Peace boxers have been selected to train with the Brazilian national boxing team: Wanderson de Oliveira, Douglas Andrade and Rebeca Lima. All of them believe in their abilities and in their potential to reach the Olympic Games, and Fight for Peace will be supporting them to realise that dream.