Community

ITC: Capoeira For All, Liverpool

April 24 2024

Ferreira's visit to Liverpool capoeira class a knockout success!

Wednesday evening saw the vibrant community of Toxteth, Liverpool graced with the presence of Brazilian boxing sensation Beatriz Ferreira, as she looks to kickstart a monumental 2024 by winning the IBF Lightweight World Title at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre on Saturday night.

Ferreira – seeking to follow glory on Saturday with an Olympic gold medal at this summer’s Paris Games – took time out of her busy schedule to make a special visit to Capoeira For All, a local organisation dedicated to promoting the rich cultural heritage of Brazil to the city’s younger generation.

Known for her infectious positive energy as much as her standout boxing skills, Ferreira spent the evening engaging with young members across two classes, taking part in a heartfelt exchange of cultural knowledge and mutual inspiration.

Ferreira’s visit not only highlighted the power of sport and culture in bridging communities, but also underscored the universal language of movement and rhythm. It was an evening filled with laughter, learning and mutual respect, leaving a lasting impact on both Team Ferreira and the young capoeiristas.

What is Capoeira?

Capoeira is an exciting and dynamic Afro-Brazilian art-form that combines elements of movement, dance, martial arts, music and play.

Rich in a history that dates back to the 1500’s following the enslavement of Africans by Portuguese migrants in Brazil, this beautiful art has survived through hundreds of years of exploitation and adversity, and in 2014 was granted ‘Cultural Heritage Status’ by UNESCO, the UN’s cultural arm.

Capoeira is often performed in a circle called a “roda,” formed by participants who sing, clap, and play traditional instruments like the berimbau, atabaque, and pandeiro. Two players enter the roda and engage in a flowing, improvised game of movements and counter-movements.

Music is also integral to the experience. The rhythm and speed of the music dictate the style and pace of the game. Songs often tell stories, convey cultural values and give instructions during the performance.

Capoeira is a dynamic and vibrant practice that transcends mere physical combat, embodying a rich cultural tradition and fostering a sense of community and identity among its practitioners.

May this visit plant seeds of inspiration and determination in the hearts of these children.

- Beatriz Ferreira

Speaking to the Matchroom cameras via a translator, Ferreira was full of praise for the work that Capoeira for All are doing, particularly in creating role models for the next generation.

“I’m really happy to be here, because where I come from, we have a lot of projects like this,” stated Ferreira.

“This visit made me reflect upon the importance of having references in sport, no matter what. Children need positive and inspiring role models to follow, to understand that they are capable of achieving their dreams – regardless of the circumstances. Sharing experiences like this is so valuable and necessary,” she continued.

“I’ve been in their shoes, seeking my way in sports, and I know how important it is to have someone guiding and motivating me. We are all capable of achieving great feats, we just need to have the opportunity and right incentive.”

“May this visit plant seeds of inspiration and determination in the hearts of these children, as it did for me. Let’s move forward, always seeking a good and fulfilling path!”

Capoeira for All

Capoeira for All is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company established to explore and develop how the arts, in particular capoeira, can significantly enrich people’s lives.

It is a local, Merseyside-based organisation ran by highly qualified staff with extensive experience in the arts, education and over 15 years of capoeira practice. Capoeira for All uses the practice, values and ethos of capoeira for positive social change. They are an innovative and enterprising organisation, which prides itself on the high quality and positive impact of its work.

Through exploring the movement, music, history and culture of Brazil through capoeira, their programmes develop a wide range of skills, knowledge and understanding. Capoeira is particularly effective at having a positive impact across the following areas:

  • Confidence and self-esteem
  • Mental and physical wellbeing
  • Communication and empathy
  • Creativity and self-expression
  • Teamwork and peer-learning

Akil Morgan, Managing Director of Capoeira for All, was delighted to have such an illustrious guest joining their session for the evening.

“To have Bia Ferreira visit us, just with her smile, let alone her achievements as an athlete, it was fantastic having her in the space,” beamed Morgan.

” You can see her passion for sport and what sport brings to communities. It’s amazing that she starting as a capoeirista, as well as a boxer, too,” he added.

“To bring that energy, to bring that street life that is part of Brazil, that brought her to where she is now – with us, to Liverpool, to our young people, to ourselves, what a pleasure what an honour – it was amazing to receive Bia here in our Capoeira for All studio.”

With her attention now shifting towards the opportunity that lies ahead of her on Saturday night, Ferreira was full of confidence when reflecting upon her chances of victory.

“I will seize the opportunity and become World Champion here in Liverpool. What the World Title means to me, it’s absolutely massive. I like making history, so why not be a World Champion as a professional as well, as I’m already a two-time World Champion as an amateur,” proclaimed Ferreira.

“As I always say, I’m living a dream. It’s a dream that comes from a lot of hard work. But it’s not just my dream, it’s the whole team’s and a lot of people who believe in my potential. Now as a professional I’m going to enjoy collecting belts. So prepare yourselves for a lot of belts,” she continued.

“With every fight as a professional I’m feeling better and more comfortable. I’ve still got a lot to learn. I have a lot of Olympic experience and am gradually gaining experience as a professional. I’m obviously so looking forward to facing the best fighters in my division because I want to be the best of them all as well. It’s going to be a huge challenge and I can’t wait to face them with no fear at all. I’m always ready.”

When asked about a specific game plan, Ferreira promised the fans they should expect an exciting fight – and a Brazilian win!

“The way I see myself becoming World Champion is as follows… we have a strategy: We have strategies A, B and C. And of course we want to put on a good performance up there. I am ready to fight ten rounds like I start the first round, with high intensity,” stated Ferreira.

“My fights don’t disappoint, I’m getting better and better. I believe that it will be a good fight and a great spectacle, God-willing, I’ll be blessed and win with a knockout, that would be sensational,” she added.

“But no cuts this time, my face is fine as it is!”

As Liverpool gears up for fight night, headlined by the domestic Super-Bantamweight clash between hometown hero Peter McGrail and Marc Leach, Ferreira’s visit to Toxteth will be remembered as a highlight of the pre-event build-up. It showcased not only her prowess as a boxer, but also her commitment to using her platform to inspire and uplift communities through cultural exchange and shared experiences.

The event at Capoeira For All is a testament to the power of sports in bringing people together, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries – and creating lasting memories and connections.