From Olympic spirit to Olympic charity: the Projeto Grael

From Olympic spirit to Olympic charity: the Projeto Grael

Dec 29, 2021

Sailing legends Torben Grael and Martine Grael are working together on Projeto Grael: a charitable project that aims to provide children with education.

Based on the principle that sailing guarantees paths from education to professional formation, the Olympic champions Torben Grael and Lars Grael came up with the idea of PROJETO GRAEL, and in 1998, thanks to the help of Charitas, they gave it form. 

The idea behind: to promote the social inclusion of children and young people in social vulnerability. Torben’s daughter, Olympic gold medalist Martine Grael is also part of the project that has assisted more than 17,000 young people in Jurujuba, Niterói. 


The tools to become champions

“At Projeto Grael children have opportunities and tools to be champions. Encourage that dream.” -Martine Grael

Sailing can become a tool for human development, thus the programme includes different activities for young people aged between 9 and 29. When practicing sports, we not only stimulate the pleasure of the activity, but we also develop motor, cognitive, intellectual and socialization skills. 

Related article: Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze defended their 2016 Rio Olympics title in 49er FX class. 


Did you know? Swimming promotes adaptation and safety in the sea, it helps you work on breathing, immersion, buoyancy and propulsion. This is the first step to becoming a nautical athlete, then, children in the Projeto Grael are referred to either sailing or canoeing lessons. 

When using boats, children adopt them as educational instruments, and this contributes to self-confidence, discipline, leadership skills and team spirit. These are valuable skills in daily life that will enable young people taking part in the project to improve both professionally and personally. 

Moreover, so far their Professionalizing Program has inserted around 4,200 young people in the labour market. 


How can you become part of it? 

There are different ways to support a charitable cause. The Instituto Rumo Náutico is looking for sponsors and supporters who help them keep the sails set. If you are an individual, you could make a donation HERE

Moreover, the NGO needs to keep growing in visibility. Follow them on social media to keep up with their news and help spread the word! 

Also, Sir Ben Ainslie, America’s Cup athlete and Olympic medal winner has been helping in several charitable causes, as the John Merricks Sailing Trust or the Andrew Simpson Foundation.  

On Nautical Channel we like to promote and help nautical entities that are helping young people develop their skills. We hope to see more projects like Projeto Grael in 2022! 


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