Jadir Taekwondo Association awarded BBC Green Sport Teamwork Award
The Rio-based Jadir Taekwondo Association (AJTKD) has been awarded the BBC's Teamwork Award, which is part of its inaugural Green Sport Awards.
AJTKD has put sustainability at their heart of what it does. Running a successful environmental education programme, it has involved children from deprived areas of Brazil in activities to provide them with climate change and environmental education.
"Thinking more sustainably changed our routines at home. We end up sharing some information with our families, friends and neighbours - inspiring them to create an impact too." - shared said AJTKD student Raphaella, as she feels the association has helped its students become "more conscious of our impact on the environment".
"We hope to show a good example to the world," the AJTKD student added.
This month, Jadir Taekwondo Association (AJTKD) was awarded the Teamwork Award of the BBC Green Sports Awards. This award was given to a sport organization who have educated and engaged people at large on climate action.
Since 2000, AJTKD has been working to educate, empower, and inspire youth in social vulnerability in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. AJTKD works towards a larger goal of promoting climate and environmental awareness through its education program that actively engages students and their families. With international volunteers from all around the world, AJTKD worked with environmental experts to create grassroots change. Even through the COVID-19 pandemic, AJTKD quickly adapted to an online format of educational learning and continued to teach youth about the environment.
Although AJTKD is a non-profit sports organization aiming to help youth surrounded by conflict and armed violence, one of the core tenets of its goals is environmental sustainability. In 2021, AJTKD provided enriching opportunities to their students for United Nations World Environment Day in which they provided youth with virtual activities, experiences, and videos to educate them about environmental issues. Students were able to experience the Amazonian rainforest through virtual reality technology and engaged in environment-themed activities to learn about sustainability practices. In 2022, students practiced Taekwondo and connected with an environmental scientist from the Netherlands to learn about basic sanitation, its importance, and how to implement methods in their own lives to access clean drinking water. This past summer, AJTKD’s students actively engaged in activities to learn about the environmental impact on the Amazon rainforest, erosion, and deforestation. In 2023, AJTKD aims to continue their environmental education program for its students and create more opportunities for youth to take initiative in their own lives and communities to protect the environment.
On an international scale, AJTKD connects with the broader sports community by engaging with international sports organizations, creating content on social media, and calling to action different ways athletes can preserve biodiversity. Additionally, the organization has signed the global climate pledge, a symbol of commitment to collectively tackle the climate crisis. Through AJTKD’s relentless efforts to contribute their part in helping the environment, their efforts have been recognized by several international organizations such as their features in the World Bank’s initiative Connect4Climate.
The BBC Teamwork Green Sports Award demonstrates the organization’s hard work from students, their families, the AJTKD staff, and volunteers from Brazil and all around the world. With these efforts and teamwork, AJTKD is leading the world to a brighter, more sustainable future, starting with our youth.
Article by Suzy Kwak