Interview with Filomena Fortes, IOC Member and President of the National Olympic Committee of Cape Verde
The World Flying Disc Federation has been working with the African country of Cape Verde as key co-operation partner for its development grants program in 2020 and 2021.
The development program for Cape Verde involves three major parts: providing education materials to 100 schools in Cape Verde for teaching the Flying Disc sport of Ultimate and Spirit of the Game (SOTG) in the Portuguese language; a delivery of 1,200 discs to schools; and training Flying Disc coaches and teachers in Cape Verde.
Filomena Fortes, IOC Member and President of the National Olympic Committee of Cape Verde (Comité Olímpico Cabo-Verdiano) commented in a recent interview about the importance of the co-operation with WFDF for Cape Verde and on the Olympic perspective of Flying Disc sports.
Q: What is the value of this cooperation agreement with WFDF for Cape Verde?
A: The importance of this agreement with the World Flying Disc Federation is based on our desire to diversify the activities we can offer to our young people and to provide a sport accessible to all and involving scarce resources, which facilitates its implementation and democratization quickly in a country like Cape Verde.
Q: How did this partnership arise?
A: This partnership started with a simple conversation with the WFDF Executive Director in Estoril in 2018, where we first discussed this interesting development project. By actually jointly pursuing it after our return, this opened the doors for it to be presented to the National Directorate of Education in Cape Verde.
Q: Why this bet on disc sports?
A: For the same reason outlined before, we saw great benefits from this agreement. We were already familiar with disc sports from the first ANOCA African Beach Games held in Ilha do Sal in 2019 in Cape Verde.
Q: When will it be possible to see the results of this partnership?
A: I hope it will be very soon despite the constraints due to COVID-19. But I am sure that during this year we may already see tangible results from its implementation in Cape Verde.
Q: At the Olympic level, the World Flying Disc Federation will try to bring the disc sport of Ultimate to the Games in one of the next editions. Do you believe that this is possible?
A: Anything is possible as long as you have the will. Nobody thought that one day Breakdance would reach the Olympics, and maybe not even Sports Climbing, and they are already present in Paris 2024. The modalities of Los Angeles 2028 or in other editions are not yet determined and maybe this is a good opportunity for disc sports to be represented. It will depend a lot on the justification given to the IOC about the importance of it being present in the next editions of the Olympic Games.
José Pedro Amoroso, WFDF University and School Sports Commission Chair and President of the Associação Portuguesa de Ultimate e Desportos de Disco (APUDD) and creator of the project “Projeto Ultimate e Desportos de Disco nas Escolas” (Ultimate and Disc Sports to Schools) hailed the importance of the development project for Cape Verde. “The project for Cape Verde is not only a sign that WFDF is increasing its development efforts within the African continent but also highlights a new focus on Portuguese-speaking countries. This example will benefit all Portuguese-speaking countries in the world when we target implementing such programs in other areas too. WFDF will further promote the project for Portuguese-speaking countries by providing online teaching resources.”
WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch underlined the importance of the disc sport development project for WFDF during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic: “Most Flying Disc sport are played outdoors in fresh air and allows perfectly for training and learning while fully observing the social distancing and non-contact rules which most of the governments have. As such it is a great opportunity for young people and athletes to practice their skills despite the current difficult conditions. I am sure that this project will result in great positive impact for Flying Disc, not only for the African continent but also as a role model project for all Portuguese-speaking countries around the world.”