The children can barely believe that they have such a top-quality sports facility on their doorstep. Nine year-old Maite Baptista, a student at Tenente General Napion Public School in the Ramos suburb, is one of the children who had the privilege of being at the reopening of Carioca Arena 3 and her excitement was palpable. “It is very much approved- the Arena is beautiful, beautiful!” she said enthusiastically as her school-teacher mother, Carina, looked on proudly.
Carioca Arena 3, which hosted taekwondo and fencing during the Olympic Games Rio 2016, was handed over to the City’s project leaders in March following its post-Games conversion. It has now been transformed from an empty shell into a state-of-the-art sports facility for the people of Rio to use. Both adults and children will have access to the facility which, on day one, offered activities such as table-tennis, badminton, mini-tennis, trampolining, as well as numerous fun games for visitors, all free of charge.
FROM TODAY ON, OUR CHILDREN, YOUNGSTERS AND ATHLETES HAVE A HOME WHERE THEY CAN DREAM OF BECOMING AN OLYMPIAN.
Patricia Amorim, RIO UNDERSECRETARY FOR SPORT AND LEISURE
In the hall where Brazilian hero Maicon Siqueira was the country’s first male medallist in taekwondo, the children of Rio can now develop their sports’ skills and attempt to follow in Siqueira’s footsteps by reaching an Olympic Games themselves in the future.
Watching Olympic athletes compete for medals in their home city certainly inspired the children of Rio and, now, with the opening of Carioca Arena 3, they have a world-class facility that will help them to fulfill their sporting potential.
Better facilities encourage children and adults to participate in sport and this provides significant benefits to local communities. This is why Rio’s Undersecretary for Sport and Leisure, Patricia Amorim, recognises how important a day the opening of Carioca Arena 3 was for the city: “From today on, our children, youngsters and athletes have a home where they can dream of becoming an Olympian,” she said. “It has been very important for Rio to have taken this first step to reopen the Arena 3 and turn it into a legacy for the city. We are transforming it into a place for sport and physical activity, a place where everybody can meet up and which everybody can enjoy.”