There, we said it.
Last Saturday, we had the honour of being invited to the IX Street Football Tournament of the Bairro Padre Cruz.
The Associação Nacional de Futebol de Rua (National Street Football Association) organized a formidable event in the recent street football square in the heart of the neighbourhood.
It was with great pleasure that we went, once again, to Carnide to hang out with our partners; those who taught us the little we know about these street football wanderings. All that we’ve done here related to street football, we owe them.
We left Quinta do Cabrinha excited with the afternoon we were going to have in Carnide, and with no expectations whatsoever regarding the classification we would get in the tournament. It was not even an issue raised by anyone (really, not even the most competitive of our players spoke of such thing, and that, for us, is a good sign). Street football is not about the competition, it’s about the game, the people who play it and how they behave when they play it.
With that said, winning always leaves us happy. And there’s no harm in that. But not winning at all cost. And what we saw inside the field of the Community Square of the Bairro Padre Cruz made us proud. A group of young people, with significant age differences, together, united, available, empathic. Hands together and with the heart in the mouth, running around the field in unison. Overcoming the prejudices they had in relation to their own capacity as a group, as a team. Without discriminating, without getting lost in minutiae, playing all together, rising each other to the top. As a community, engaged.
We won game by game, with difficulty, and in the end we celebrated. And then we put everything in perspective and continued to celebrate.
The return to the neighbourhood was very animated, between chants and parades through the streets of Quinta do Cabrinha, to show the pride they felt and to feel the smiles of whom they met.
Now, we continue to work. It was good to win the first tournament to which we were invited. It is good to increase the self-esteem of a young community that is not used to feel important. And even better, it is to hear them saying that winning is not that important. That what they really brought from there was the knowledge that if they do what they intend in a focused, quiet and organized way, good things will happen. That their work and perseverance is what really counts. That’s it.
To all those who participated in the tournament, our giant thank you for an incredible afternoon of conviviality.
To Delta Cafés, a giant thank you for giving these young people the chance to take pride in a shirt.
Outros Campeonatos continues, with more pride, the work in Quinta do Cabrinha.
Come here and see. And help, if you will.
See you soon!
Outros Campeonatos is a project by Academia Cidadã, that aims to promote active citizenship in Quinta do Cabrinha, Alcântara.
Funded by BIP/ZIP from the Municipality of Lisbon with the partnership of District Hall of Alcântara, the youth group “Winds of Change”, the National Association of Street Football and the Lisbon Sustainable Tourism.
Outros Campeonatos will contribute for the social fortification of the neighborhood, promoting community organization, capacity for local initiative and greater democratic awareness. It will also promote an opening of the neighborhood to society in general, reinforcing its integrity in the city. The main strategies of action will be street football and tourism. Street football events draw the inhabitants of the neighborhood to intervene and participate in its organization and implementation – with facilitation of tools and processes of organized citizen participation. Tourism helps rethinking the neighborhood, opening the community to new citizenship experiences.