With smiles and curious looks the kids at the After-School Activity Center paid welcome to their guests. At this tender age, the gifts arouse great curiosity but the words of Volleyball player Miguel Maia summarizing his career from the time he was 6 years old when he joined Académica and Sporting de Espinho to international stardom and the participation with his childhood friend, João Brenha, in three editions of the Olympics were silently listened by the amazed kids who dropped some questions to the most famous Portuguese Volleyball player of all times.
The contagious joy along with Christmas carols at the Kindergarten of CSPNSV was the best Christmas present that the FPV can receive as a result of its social work. Irene Moreira of the CSPNSV Executive Council stresses: “The FPV visit is very important for us. Why? Because the children that are here today come from disadvantaged and low-class families and therefore they have very limited opportunities to join such actions. One of our major goals is to provide different experiences which will grant them a full development in all areas; sport is also part of that comprehensive development. In our institution, besides the children, we have elderly and homeless people; this contributes a total of 250 people that are the target-audience of our actions. It’s important the presence of the Federation here today because you are willing to share, and in these difficult circumstances we all have to face, even by the Christmas time, joy is absent, and we only share if you have someone to share with. Nobody is happy alone. So, the message that I would like to leave to all is Merry Christmas, with the ambition to share this joy with others”.
About the enthusiastic way the children welcomed the FPV members and Miguel Maia, the CSPNSV director explained: “They are truly amazed. Like Miguel said, it is not usual to emphasize Volleyball in our country, mainly because football always makes headlines here. When we talk about sports, we usually think of Cristiano Ronaldo and not Miguel and others who fought and took our country’s name so far. Another curious fact is that Miguel’s career started so soon, when he was just 6 years old. The parents think that their kids have small hands and will not be able to play, but for the children the question is viewed otherwise: if Miguel could do it, we may too. As Miguel stated, success is brought exclusively by dedication and perseverance. This message is going to echo in their little heads and will be a clear statement for their development. But also, there is enthusiasm. This word which comes from ancient Greek literally means having God in yourself, having joy in yourself, and I believe that it landed today here in our house with your visit”.
On his turn, Miguel Maia stated: “We feel extremely honored to be here today in another social initiative promoted by the FPV, and to be able to bring some joy to these kids, giving them a moment of happiness and teach them a little bit about Volleyball. Who knows if in the future we will see some of these kids join competitive sport? If they finally opt for Volleyball, this would be even better. We wish all a Merry Christmas. And we all feel much honored to somehow be contributing to their happiness. I believe the Portuguese Volleyball Federation is having an enormous success with the social causes, bringing joy to children, helping charities that by this difficult time need our support even more”.
The Olympic athlete, who distributed autographs, both to the children and to the staff, was also given a “sweet” gift from the children. “It was a gift for me and for all the FPV officials here today, as I noticed that they were all willing to taste the sweets I got. This way the children managed to put a smile on our faces, something that is very important in anybody’s life, especially to them”.
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