The FEI Jumping South American Youth Championship brought more than 200 talented young riders together at the stunning Sociedade Hípica Porto Alegrense to proudly compete under their nation’s flag for international distinction. Youth championships play a critical role in team development and mental preparation for the high stakes Nations Cup competition format, yet in Brazil the goals extended beyond the realm of sport. JustWorld International (JWI) was honored to be welcomed as the Official Charity Partner of the South American Youth Championships, providing riders the opportunity to utilize their podium platforms to give back.
The importance of cultivating social responsibility is a natural take away of Adopt A Project, one of JWI’s now most emblematic youth programs. After the awards ceremony, teams are tasked with one final collaborative activity, only without their horses. They are provided with donation grants and a “menu” with a selection of impactful education, healthcare and nutrition programs in Cambodia, Guatemala, Honduras and the United States. Together, teams must deliberate and make unanimous decisions about which project they would like their “winnings” to fund.
JWI Ambassador Karina H. Johannpeter, President of the South American Youth Championship and Porto Alegre Equestrian Federation, was determined to create a strong partnership between the South American Youth Championships and JWI. “I think it is incredibly important and impactful for young riders to also learn social responsibility and become accustomed to integrating philanthropy into their everyday life,” said Johannpeter.
Gabriela Rezende Sperb, gold medal winner of the Pre-Junior division aboard her mare Kannatina Fas, was just one of the many riders impacted by this charitable partnership. She chose to put her 500 Euro donation towards education in Honduras with JWI’s partner project Asociation Compartir.
“I’m really happy with my results and with her results because she was incredible and did her best. For me [the win] means a lot because we worked a lot to be here and to be able to get a good result, and we did it. I chose to improve education in Honduras because it is close to my home country and I think it’s really important for everyone to have the opportunity to get an education,” said Rezende Sperb.
The gravity of the moment isn’t lost on any of the South American Youth Championship riders, nor is the opportunity to participate in JWI’s global campaign against poverty. The powerful activism of kids helping kids moved the riders and their families.
For athletes like Theo Seebacher Branco Jordão, the Children’s Division Champion, Adopt A Project in Porto Alegre was the very first official introduction to JWI. As the FEI Official Charity Partner, it is the beginning of a positive relationship at further championships.
“It means a lot for me because I really trained a lot. To be in this moment and have the opportunities, it’s very important to me. I actually heard about [JustWorld] here for the first time and I think it is really cool what you’re doing,” said Branco Jordão.
“I chose Cambodia because I think it’s really important for us to help people who need food and we can provide also books. I think that it’s important for children to learn and also to have proper nutrition,” Branco Jordão concluded.
“It means a lot for us to be here. We are really proud of ourselves because we worked really hard. It’s really great representing our nation,” echoed Carolina Amaral Fontes Amor, member of the Championship Children’s Team.
When all was said and done, 15 teams took part in Adopt A Project, equating to more than 60 riders and their families, who also supported the initiative. Thanks to these conscientious young riders, the ripple effect of positive chance both in the equestrian community and those we serve is one we cannot yet measure. Yet one thing is for certain–we are a few strides closer to creating a better world for children around the globe.
Source: Equ News