2017 > 08

The Casas da Noruega school in Bancários (Rio de Janeiro) announced a new semester starting this week, with activities for children and families. One of the new features will be the lectures series and video lessons every Wednesday, with different themes among the subjects offered in the school. The meetings will be open to children, teenagers and adults. "The teachers will prepare the lessons and we will also have some guests lecturers," explains the pedagogical coordinator of Casas da Noruega, Suellen Andrade.

Another change in the school calendar is the kick start of an English class especially aimed for the soccer boys, organized by teacher Thatiane Tadin. The group will meet Mondays to Thursdays at the social project school in Ilha do Governador. In parallel, the tutoring classes, computer classes and music will continue in the grid of schedules of the new semester as well as social events. "We are going to have distribution of food for the local families on September 6, before the holiday”, says Suellen.

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From top left: Gleidson, Lucas, Luquinhas, Robson, Gleiciano, Freixo, Boca, Yan, Rodolfo, Douglas & Gleison From top left: Gleidson, Lucas, Luquinhas, Robson, Gleiciano, Freixo, Boca, Yan, Rodolfo, Douglas & Gleison

A group of 18 boys from Rio who have just crossed the Atlantic to compete in two football tournaments in Norway definitely caught attention from who was attending the matches in Norway Cup and SandarCup this year. “Oh, Brazilians! Look how well they play!”, pointed out one of the teenagers seated on the grass while talking to a friend during the third match of Casas da Noruega team, the one against Tynset (2-0). Then, a father of a 9-year-old over heard that the group is part of a social project in a poor community in Rio. “That’s fantastic, this life experience must have a great impact to the boys”, said Andreas Paleologos. 

The Brazilian football team is called Casas da Noruega after the Norwegian NGO behind the sports and educational activities in Bancários, a local community of Ilha do Governador, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). The organization Casas da Noruega was founded in 2009 and today the school offers tutoring classes for local kids and teenagers as well as Music, English and Computer classes. In total, there are over 400 boys and girls attending the school. In order to keep the students in school and away of crime life, for example, the NGO works closely with sport activities, such as football and athletics. Thus, the football team which played in Norway came up as a motivation and support tool to keep children studying. It is simple: to be part of the football practice, the kid must go to school.

Last year was the first time of the team competing in Norway and they came back to Brazil with two trophies: champions of the biggest youth soccer tournament in the world, Norway Cup, and champions of Sandarcup both in the 18-19 year old category. This year, the team lost the playoff match on penalties shoots after two rounds of extra time. Casas da Noruega was the leader of its group with 9 points and ended up scoring 18 goals in five matches and not did not concede any goal. On the other hand, the boys have backed up their performance from last year and defended their title as Sandarcup champions in 2017. Coming away with 26 scores in a total of six matches, the Brazilian players won Fristad/Sparör (5-0) in the big final.

Nevertheless, the positive feedback regarding the player’s behavior, the fairplay, humbleness and teamwork were the big achievement according to the NGO founder and leader of Casas da Noruega team, Snorre Holand. “This was our confirmation that the education in school is giving results. Is not reaching the highest position in the competition is the motivation of building a life. That’s our main goal so I think we won”, says Holand. The goalkeeper and the oldest of the group Felipe Freixo, believes that what got the public attention was their Brazilian way of expressing themselves and dealing with the situations. “The improvisation, the friendly gestures, the inclusion, charisma”, said the player. “On the other side, the Norwegian hospitality was incredible, they treated us very well. Both the first time and the second time. They were very attentive, cared very much for us", said Freixo.


“We are very cheerful, we like to play, we like to please. As we were received very well, we felt a responsibility to give it back, to show that we were happy”, explained João, 19 years old. When questioned what impressed him the most he answer straight away: the people, they treated us warmly and with respect, said João Ricardo Mattos.

The experience of playing outside their home country is beyond their reality in the poor community of Rio. For eight of the boys, this was the first time in Norway. "In 2016, we were all first-time sailors and this second time was easier since we could tell the youngers a bit on the country. The athletes arrived better prepared regarding the culture and the habits, explained the coach Gilson "Chico" Ferreira. "The younger boys mirrored themselves in the older ones, who passed on their experience, showed what is right and what is wrong, said Gleidson Bernardo. That was his second time in the country but first time as captain. "It was a great learning process to be captain of the team, to lead a group of young people you must be responsible, tougher. I'm more playful, so that was a challenge, mentioned the 19 year-old.
 
The challenges are positives if facing it with the right attitude according to Freixo. "This is the most exciting part. I particularly love challenges and the feeling of giving our best is the greatest possible: when learning from overcoming barriers such as different cultures, different football style. We are athletes and we must always be evolving, adapting and getting stronger. It is a passionate thing and we athletes love to deal with it, explained Freixo.

Not only the food habits, the time zone and weather, there are more differences between Norway and Brazil according to the boys. "In the crowd, for example, people make a lot of noise in Brazil and in Norway is quieter. The game is more defensive and it is strong but we’ve watched European football on TV so I already knew what to expect. Overall, it is a very good feeling to represent Brazil, the social project and the children. I was surprised by the education of people. I really thought people in Europe were very polite. So I thought, is this true? I had to see it for myself! And the solidarity itself, I will take that as a life lesson", said Renan Azevedo, one of the highlights of the team and in Norway for the first time.

Overall, the dream of 10 of 10 of the boys is one day play in a European team: "We wondered if we have the conditions and qualification to play in a Norwegian team. That would be wonderful, said Gleidson. There is a dream of playing and working in Norway; a very different country in every way. The high-performance athlete is highly valued and unfortunately in Brazil the reality is very difficult for professional football, said Robson dos Santos Souza.
 
The feedback to the youngest
 
"Most do not have conditions, thus to live this experience is quite an achievement. The younger ones want to take up this football opportunity and surely they expect the time to come", explained Freixo.  Sometimes the players have direct contact with some children, who are struggling in school, may be lost, needing to hear a positive story. “The school helps kids to become citizens, too”, emphasized.
 
“The children look up for us and it turns up that we became role models for the local communities’ kids. They conclude that if they keep trying, they can go too”, explained Gleidson, who has been part of the project for 5 years. "The project is really good. Football is currently the main sport so, when you represent the NGO out there in Europe and when they see the pictures of Casas da Noruega on Facebook, it's really cool. There are many children who do not have conditions and the project is excellent for opening opportunities for the children, said Renan.
 
“The impact is very positive. It is great to know that through the work and the project of Casas da Noruega it is possible to turn dreams into reality”, concluded the leader of the team, Jair Ferreira.
 

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Foto Casas da Noruega Foto Casas da Noruega

The boys from Casas da Noruega have backed up their performance from last year and defended their title as Sandarcupen champions in 2017. Coming away with 26 scores in a total of six matches, the Brazilian players won Fristad/Sparör (5-0) in the big final last week.

Sandarcupen was held from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th in Sandefjord (92 km Southwest from Oslo).  In 2017, the tournament registered a participant record: 771 teams of boys and girls from 8 to 19 years old competed in the event.

Check out the team's performance in the championship:
Aug 12th:
Casas da Noruega x Trond 2 (5-0)
Casas da Noruega x Grand Bodø G19 (3-0)
Casas da Noruega x Tjølling (3-0)
 Aug 13th:
Casas da Noruega x Aurskog-Finstadbru G19 (4-0)
Casas da Noruega x Lindeberg Sportsklubb (6-0)
Casas da Noruega x Fristad/Sparsör (5-0)

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Foto Casas da Noruega Foto Casas da Noruega

The positive feedback regarding the player’s behavior, the fairplay, humbleness and teamwork were the big achievement after the Norway Cup closure according to the NGO founder and leader of Casas da Noruega team, Snorre Holand.

“We didn’t get the gold nevertheless the compliments regarding the great impression that the boys made in everyone are the most important win. This was our confirmation that the education in school is giving results. Is not reaching the highest position in the competition is the motivation of building a life. That’s our main goal so I think we won”, says Holand.

The NGO (non-governmental organization) has been working with social and educational projects in the local community of Bancários (Rio de Janeiro) since 2009 and one of the activities is the soccer training for boys and girls as pedagogical support of the school. The group of teenagers between the ages of 18 and 19 years old from Brazil started training since December last year to represent the social project Casas da Noruega in the biggest youth soccer tournament in the world. 

The team Casas da Noruega has won all three of the Norway Cup qualifying rounds, and was the leader of its group with 9 points. During playoffs, the team won Søgne for 3 x 0 and Holmen also for 3 x 0. The team ended up scoring 18 goals in five matches and not did not concede any goal during the regular time. Brazilians lost the match against Skeid on penalties shoots after two rounds of extra time. “Keeping in mind that this is part of the education process: not winning. In the daily life we just don’t win everything”, reminds Holland.

The NGO is funded 100% by sponsors and private donors. All donations and sponsorships are raised to support the school activities in the local community in Rio de Janeiro therefore registration fee would not be an easy task for the NGO if they had not been part of the list of teams which received financial support from Norway Cup. “We are very satisfied and humble with the support we received from Norway Cup with cooperation with Norad (Norwegian Directorate for Development Cooperation). They believed in us. If it wasn’t for them, we couldn’t afford it and wouldn’t be possible to be part of the competition”, explains the leader.

The team's next challenge is Sandarcupen from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th in Sandefjord (92 km Southwest from Oslo).  In 2017, the tournament registered a new participant record: 771 teams of boys and girls from 8 to 19 years old.

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The Brazilian team Casas da Noruega (CdN) has won all three of the Norway Cup qualifying rounds, and now leads the group with 9 points. Next challenge is playing with Søgne tomorrow, August 2nd at 10 a.m. in the first game of playoffs A.

After opening with a score of 8-0 against Farsund and defeating the Norwegian team Ørn Horten by 2 to 0 (photo), CdN won the match agaisnt Tynset on Tuesday night by 2-0 with goals scored by Gleiciano and Yan.

The Playoffs A gathers 32 teams, including 26 Norwegians, one from the United Kingdom, one from Ghana, one from the United States, one from Senegal, one from Kosovo and the CdN team as sole representative of Brazil.

The group of 18 youths landed in Oslo on the evening of 28 July to take part in the Norway Cup, the biggest youth football competition in the world. In the debut, in 2016, the team was the great champion of its category.

The team is part of the social project of the NGO Casas da Noruega, which is Norwegian and totally focused on social and educational activities in the poor local communities in Rio de Janeiro. This year, the team competes with ten new athletes in Oslo between July 29 and August 5.

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