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A sporting chance

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A sporting chance

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Sport is a way of learning that can transform lives. In impoverished parts of Sao Paolo in Brazil, for example, its positive impact is clear. Felippe, who used to be a homeless drug addict, is now a professional boxer thanks to the ‘Garrido’ boxing project. 
 
Nilson Garrido, the founder of “Projeto Viver” said: “The most important thing for the people here is just being in this place, even with the pollution and the traffic noise it’s better than being out there killing people, and committing crimes.”
 
With the help of the local authorities, the project is expanding and now there are three gyms where young people can turn their lives around.
  
A winning attitude can also change your destiny, and that’s one of the lessons to be learned at Qatar’s Aspire Academy For Sports Excellence. As Qatar prepares to host the World Cup in 2022, some students at Aspire are striving to become football stars on a global scale.  
 
The 200 pupils get a free education as well as intensive sports coaching at the boarding school.  
 
Badr Al Hay, the academy’s principal said: “There used to be a misconception that participating in sport meant losing the opportunity of achievement in the academic arena. So the idea here is that we combine training, I mean physical training sessions, with academic schooling.”
 
Sport can also open doors to a good job. In China Kung Fu is more than just a way to become mentally and physically tough, it can also enhance your career prospects.
 
The Shaolin Tagou Kung Fu School is the largest and most famous Shaolin Martial Arts School in China. Established in 1978, it now caters for more than 20,000 students from five to 35 years old. Training normally starts at around four to 10 years old and lasts for about three years. The students only see their parents for one month a year, during the official holiday because it is considered important to be independent.
 
The training is of even higher kudos and status than a university degree. Successful pupils can aspire to careers in the police force, the army, or as a body guard or even as entertainers at the famous Beijing opera.