Cesar Cielo’s life has been all about swimming since he was 8 years old. Through the project Novos Cielos, the Olympic and world champion can use his knowledge and credibility to raise funds to kids and teenagers who want to practice swimming as well. He believes it’s a way of giving back, through opportunities, the success achieved by him in the sport he has chosen.
Basically, the project Novos Cielos wants to provide the necessary structure to kids, offering support for training and competitions. According to Cesar Cielo, the intention is not to train swimmers for the Olympic Games 2016, in Rio de Janeiro – training is a long and continuous work. And, yet, not all the kids will have the biotype and profile required to compete in Olympic Games or world championships. Even so, opportunities must be given.
Investment and continuity
“The kids who take part in the project Novo Cielos… Well, maybe someone will show up for 2020. This is a long-term project. That’s how I started, investing, with continuity. I hope that, motivated by the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, in 2016, other projects, such as mine, will come up and that more incentives will be given for such projects”, states Cielo.
It’s important to mention that there are companies interested in investing in social projects in Brazil, allocating part of the resources that they would use to pay income taxes to such projects. The Lei de Incentivo ao Esporte (Sports Incentive Law), of the Ministry of Sports of the Federal Government, gives up the collection in favor of such projects.
“Every time I talk to sponsors, they ask me what my relation with social work is. Companies can help, even though our culture is not really prepared for that.”
More training projects
Cielo explains that the idea of developing national swimming is not something new, it’s been there since the time he used to train at Esporte Clube Barbarense, where he started swimming. The willingness to develop the project Novos Cielos got stronger due to the swimmer’s contact with the students practicing at the Centro Olímpico de Treinamento e Pesquisa – COTP (Center of Olympic Training and Research), of the Prefeitura Municipal de São Paulo (São Paulo City Hall). Cielo got familiar with the swimming pool available at the center, and started practicing there, after taking part in a recording for an advertising campaign. Cielo points out many positive aspects concerning the indoor heated 50-meter swimming pool, which is public. In addition, the Comitê Olímpico Brasileiro – COB (Brazilian Olympic Committee – BOC) took actions to improve the pool while Cielo was practicing there (steel lanes, starting blocks, etc.) “I swim with the kids and truly hope they will develop more training projects such as the Centro Olímpico.”
Cielo says that many kids are talented at swimming and got skills, but it is necessary to be willing to practice and compete, that you must want it hard enough, a lot, in order to become a champion. For that reason, developing talent is very complex. “The most dedicated, the most willing, will get it.” Cielo is happy when he sees the kids swimming, and also happy to know he’s a role model and an incentive. “There’s always a feedback, a little smile.”