Novos Cielos. New talents

Cesar Cielo Institute was created with the objective of encouraging and improving the swimming practice in the country, offering development opportunities for new talents. In order to do so, its founders, the swimmer Cesar Cielo Filho and his parents, Flávia and Cesar Cielo, count on the experience acquired over the years training, the only, Brazil’s Olympic swimming champion. The project Novos Cielos, a program of the institute, approved by the Lei de Incentivo ao Esporte (Sports Incentive Law), of the Brazilian Ministry of Sports, has already raised funds for the Centro Olímpico de Treinamento e Pesquisa – COTP (Center of Olympic Training and Research), of the Secretaria Municipal de Esportes da Prefeitura de São Paulo (Municipal Secretariat of Sports of São Paulo City Hall).

The project Novos Cielos aims at supporting swimming talents, offering training to children and teenagers (6 to 18 years old) and allowing them to take part in competitions, through partnerships with vocational training centers, such as the Associação dos Nadadores e Esportistas de Limeira – ANEL (Swimmers and Sportsmen Association of Limeira), the Centro Olímpico de Treinamento e Pesquisa – COTP (Center of Olympic Training and Research), of the Prefeitura de São Paulo (São Paulo City Hall) and the Esporte Clube Barbarense/Unimed (Sports Club Barbarense/Unimed).

“The goal of the project is to support swimming growth. With resources, the program will be able to offer tournament registrations, transportation, food, accommodation and uniforms. The idea is, basically, to give structure to the kids who want to swim, including taking care of the swimming pool and also the human material, such as trained teachers who are able to keep a good level of training, aside from the competitions. Most of the time, the training places are far and the swimmers can’t afford the costs of commuting to practice and also the costs to go to the competitions”, explains Cesar Cielo.

The support behind the success

Cesar Cielo called attention through his many achievements in the swimming pools, among them, the unprecedented gold medal for Brazilian swimming in the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Behind the fame and the expressive outcomes, the family Cielo has worked hard and offered constant support to the swimmer. Flávia Cielo, graduated in Physical Education, used to teach swimming at Esporte Clube Barbarense – the small school was maintained with the support of the swimmer’s parents and once had 650 students – and, as her husband Cesar, has always participated as the school’s management advisor, dealing with technical, administrative and financial issues.

Flávia and Cesar have invested time and resources in the development of their son, later a champion. They’ve experienced and taken part in all important decisions concerning their son’s career. When Cesar Cielo moved to São Paulo, to train at Esporte Clube Pinheiros (from 8 to 15 years old), his parents were always present and constantly monitoring his steps. They were present during trainings, competition trips, actually, during every event connected to the development of their son as a swimmer.

Cielo trained in Pinheiros until 2006. By the time he was 19, he moved to the United States to train and study at Auburn University. His achievements didn’t stop. He’s won ten competitions in NCAA, the national championship of the American universities, gold medals in Pan-American Games, world championships, Olympic Games, among others. He made history as the world’s fastest sprinter in the 50-meter and the100-meter freestyle, the grand swimming competitions. None of that would be possible without appropriate training and support.

That is the swimming experience we use in the project Novos Cielos.

“I believe that the way I found to give back part of the benefits of my success to the community was through a social project. I owe it all to swimming. So, this project may help a bit, offering other people chances to succeed as well”, states Cesar Cielo.

Access to swimming pools is still a development obstacle

The project Novos Cielos is also aware of the existing necessities concerning the development of the national sport. Brazilian swimming, in spite of being a symbol of victory due to its many medals in Olympic Games, Pan-American Game and world championships, still needs initiating support. It’s a very much practiced sport in the country, but the access to swimming pools is still a development obstacle for beginners – in general, the sport is restricted to private clubs and gyms.

At the same time, swimming requires a high number of training hours and the costs of participating in competitions are also high, facts that make it difficult for new athletes to become internationally renowned. All that, allied to the difficulty of raising sponsorships – the basic categories can’t offer media exposure. Vocational training centers can improve free training, using resources from projects such as Novos Cielos.


Images: Contrapé/Promotion and Aparecido Farias/Keeper.