Açoriano Oriental
"I like to play ball", the solidarity book speaking of Laura, a girl in a football club

She is 7 years old and is the daughter of Pedro Aguiar, current captain of Sport Club Angrense. Laura developed a taste for football very early. In addition to dance, Laura is the only girl to play ball in the club's children team, inspiring her mother, Cláudia, to write a children's book encouraging the practice of sports for all children.

"I like to play ball", the solidarity book speaking of Laura, a girl in a football club

Autor: Tatiana Ourique

Laura loves princesses, Barbies, unicorns and Harry Potter. She likes to play ball and dance. She has been going to Angra's pitch with her mother to cheer for her father, "Pedrinho", practically since she was born. But she became more than a spectator: "Laura has always followed Angrense matches, given that her father is a football player for the team. She developed a taste for football, practically innate - the apple does not fall far from the tree - and, over time, started revealing her willingness not only to watch, but also to play. After that, a closed-door conversation with her father resulted in her registration in the club", said the author in an interview with Açoriano Oriental.

For now, Laura is the only girl in the ranks and this led her mother, Cláudia, to write a small children's book entitled "I like to play ball", "in order to encourage other girls to play soccer, as well as incite all children to sports", says Laura's mother.

"The fundamental message is to encourage sports, valuing healthy growth. I want to address gender equality and inclusion in sports so as to demystify sports practice: girls can play football and boys can do ballet. The important thing is for them to do what they like, to keep them active and healthy. Remove technologies a little and invite kids to run, dance, move. Not forgetting a balanced diet and good results in school. Playtime is also important, it is then that creativity leads", added the author of "I like to play ball", which includes illustrations by Pedro Fagundes, a family friend who also made his debut in literary illustration. "I talked to Pedro Fagundes as soon as the idea for the book came up. His sister is Laura's godmother, and I knew he was drawing. So I made the suggestion, which was promptly accepted. I think he is quite creative and, like me, he had no experience in the world of books. It was the perfect combination. The fact that he is the father of two school-aged boys also helped our understanding," says Cláudia.

The book was supposed to be launched on December 1st, since it was the 91st anniversary of Sport Club Angrense and the book was associated with the club's solidarity project. "The date was chosen because the book has a sport and a solidarity aspect, supporting Angrense's project. With the presence of members, players, managers, supporters and the media, the book launch would certainly have a greater impact and we could also focus on the certification process of the club as a Training Entity of the Portuguese Football Federation. It is a demanding process with strict criteria in which Angrense has strived to obtain the best certification of Training Entity, being it currently recognized by the PFF as a 3 Star Training Entity. Now, in this process, the book is also considered a tool in terms of ethics in sport", said the author.

However, the restrictions imposed by the pandemic led to the cancellation of the public event and consequently the indefinite postponement of the book launch. However, the face-to-face presentation was replaced by a dissemination of the book through social networks.

Angrense's solidarity project was born in 2014 and aims at developing actions and events that can help institutions or families.

This year, the club, through the Angrense Solidário project, and counting on the support of the restaurant 'A Barrica', collected food there to offer Christmas baskets to those who need them the most.

The project also carries out a Child Support Campaign in which it will offer clothing, footwear and/or toys to children of the Seasa Foster Care Home.

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