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Champs Academy: tennis practice will be implemented in the social neighbourhoods of Quarteira

27 March 2017

Through a partnership between the Champs Academy, Municipality of Loulé, António Aleixo Foundation, Parish Council of Quarteira and the Tennis Club of Quarteira, the tennis sport will be implemented in the neighbourhoods of Abelheira and Amendoeira in Quarteira, which was formalized with the signing of a protocol on 22 March.

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The aim is to promote support for children and teenagers from disadvantaged households in social integration through sport, in particular with tennis lessons. The Champs Academy will provide temporary or permanent accompaniment of children in situations of social vulnerability, of their physical, intellectual and emotional needs through sports education.

While the Champs Academy is responsible for all activities related to the teaching of this sport, the Municipality of Loulé will support them within its sports promotion competences. The António Aleixo Foundation and the Parish Council of Quarteira will have an important role, given the deep knowledge of the community’s reality where this project will be implemented. Finally, the Clube de Ténis intends to develop the sport through the training of players of all ages, in the leisure and high competition aspects.

As explained by Hugo Nunes, the deputy mayor of the Municipality of Loulé and coordinator at the European level of the project "Vital Cities”, this is "a meeting of desires that will enable to implement a project, which intends to use a national network of similar projects that use tennis as a way of promoting the social inclusion of young people from disadvantaged families, in the area where the António Aleixo Foundation, the neighbourhood of Abelheira, the neighbourhood of Amendoeira and the EB1 School of Abelheira are situated."

On the other hand, the mayor of Loulé, Vítor Aleixo, emphasized the municipal policies at the level of social cohesion where this action is also included. "We thank the Champs Academy because it brings this socially problematic young population the practice of sport, making them healthier, helping them to grow with values and to learn what is fair competition, to accept victory but also to accept defeat", he said.

Telmo Pinto, the president of the Parish Council of Quarteira, and Jorge Aleixo, representative of the António Aleixo Fondation, expressed their commitment to carry out the project that intends to make the tennis accessible to this community, as a complement to all the social work that is already done here, specifically through the Choices Program.

Sports partners have assured that they will put all their energy at the disposal of the children and teenagers from these neighbourhoods, who will be the users of the project.

It should be recalled that the Champs Academy is a project of social integration through tennis that was born in 2009, with the main objective of demonstrating that there are many benefits of facing the sport as a philosophy of life and proving that the sport can and should be for everyone.

The Champs Academy takes tennis, weekly, to eight distinct centres (Trajouce, Outurela/Portela, SOS Villages of Bicesse, Maia, Alcabideche, High School of Cascais, Loulé/Quarteira and Faro), allowing more than 150 teenagers the access to the practice of this sport, aged between 6 and 18 years old. Registered as IPSS (Private Institution for Social Solidarity), it is responsible, together with its partners, for the improvement of children's well-being.

This is one of the actions of the Municipality of Loulé that incorporates the European project "Vital Cities", a network of 10 cities in Europe, of which Loulé is a leading partner, whose objective is to combat social exclusion by redefining public spaces in disadvantaged residential areas, using the power and common language of sport through innovative urban sports activities, physical equipment and better orchestration of services.