BBC Sport - How Samba transformed a Rio favela badminton school
How Samba transformed a favela badminton school
- From the section Olympics
At first sight there is not a lot in common between playing badminton and dancing the Samba.
However, Sebastião Oliveira, who has coached Brazil's two Olympic badminton players. realised that the nation's dance culture could help in preparation for the game.
His own start in life was not easy. He was placed in care at the age of six and on release was so poor he had to scavenge food from a rubbish dump. "I had to fend off vultures to get my food," he says.
But discovering badminton later in life inspired him to give disadvantaged children a route out of poverty and crime. He went on to establish Brazil's most successful badminton centre and set out to get Rio's children into the game. "We need to reach them before the drug dealers do," he says.
Engaging the children in badminton however proved more of a challenge. But introducing Samba into the sessions to improve fitness transformed performance and attendance.