Brazilian Kitesurfing champion Estefânia Rosa is launching a new crowdfunding campaign today. The athlete, who rides in the Freestyle Elite League, wants to make her sport accessible to kids in Cumbuco, northeast Brazil, where she grew up.
It’s an area with long beaches that are perfect for kitesurfing and which has become a key location for generating new talent. Not all children are able to make the most of Cumbuco’s natural features, though, due to ingrained poverty and an environment in which drugs and criminality are rife.
Rosa’s planning to change that by amplifying the free kite surf classes she’s been running with her project Rosa dos Ventos since 2012. The idea is to get kids on the water, and not just because access to sport is good for health and wellbeing: kitesurfing skills also create a bridge to jobs in sport and tourism – hence the English classes she runs alongside the sports sessions. Brazil is currently experiencing extremely high levels of unemployment. A report from June 2017 claimed 14 millions Brazilians out of work.
“[Kitesurfing] brought me the best opportunities I’ve had in my life,” she says. “It taught me a lot. I believe that sport can and does change people’s lives."
The Generosity campaign has a target of $5,000. “You’ll help us buy more sports equipment, build a local youth centre and buy materials so we can teach the kids how to learn English,” says the crowdfunding manager Julius Niehus. “If you don’t have any money to support the fundraiser, feel free to donate some kitesurf equipment – kites, bars, harnesses, lycra – and either ship it to us or bring it to Cumbuco yourself.”