The project Esporte Seguro (Safe Sport) in Brazil was started two years ago as part of the British Council and Premier League community football programme, Premier Skills. 

It was specifically created in partnership with the State Secretariat of Security to link to the UPP pacification and social development initiative which aims to promote public security and tackle the power of drug trafficking in the favelas across Rio de Janeiro.

Esporte Seguro helps young people growing up in the favelas, offering a safe and healthy environment for youngsters to play football, as well as promoting citizenship and a better understanding of the importance of getting actively involved in the development of their own community. 

A unique element of the project is that it uses police officers, trained by Premier League coaches, as community football coaches to break down barriers between young people and the police.

Funding from The Supporters Club is allowing Instituto Cultural Polen, a locally-registered NGO, to take full ownership of the project and embed it long-term in the community.