Gilberto Silva takes the road to Rio with the supporters club

As the FIFA World Cup in Brazil draws closer the latest episode of The Supporters Club documentary series, ‘Gilberto Silva's Road to Rio’, focuses on the very different – but in its own way as significant - football tournament that took place in Rio this year, the Street Child World Cup. Presented by former Arsenal midfielder and Brazil FIFA World Cup winner Gilberto Silva, the documentary charts a moving insight into the unique role football – long a key part of Brazilian culture – plays in bringing individuals together. 

In 2013, BT Sport’s charitable initiative, The Supporters Club, gave substantial grants to three charities working with street children in India, Tanzania and Brazil who sent teams to take part in the Street Child World Cup in Brazil. As part of their work, the charities use football as a tool for helping street kids find a focus, build confidence and learn leadership skills, putting together three teams who took part in the 2014 Street Child World Cup in Rio. Teams Tanzania (Boys) and Brazil (Girls) won their respective tournaments in early April. 

The documentary, which will premiere on 5 May on BT Sport 1 at 10pm, follows the three teams in their preparations for and during the tournament itself. Now playing for Copa Libertadores holders Atletico Mineiro in Brazil, Silva is passionate about supporting a cause which is so close to home. He said: “In Brazil we have a culture of football which is about companionship, togetherness and fun. The Street Child World Cup and the teams ultimately backed by The Supporters Club help provide another great expression of football in Brazil this summer. For the young boys and girls this was the experience of a lifetime and one which extends beyond the parameters of football.” 

This film will visit the projects in Chennai and Mwanza to meet the players, coaches and project leaders and discover the impact the Street Child World Cup will make. When the teams arrive in Brazil, Gilberto spends time with the teams from India and Tanzania and hears about their past experiences as well as training alongside the teams and giving coaching advice ahead of the tournament. Finally, Gilberto watches the teams taking part in the tournament and give the players words of encouragement before giving us his reaction to the Street Child World Cup. 

Team Brazil (girls) come from the IBISS charity which works in the toughest 60 slum communities in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). Team Tanzania has been recruited by the Caretakers of the Environment charity based in Mwanza, which provides emergency support, on-going rehabilitation and education to Mwanza’s street children. Team India has been brought together by Karunalaya, a charity that works on the streets of Chennai supporting hundreds of children living around the railway station and seven slum areas. 

The Supporters Club brings people together through sport to invest in making the world better. Donations from BT and our customers are invested into projects selected in partnership with Comic Relief. When customers sign up to BT Sport, they are able to make a recurring £1, £3 or £5 monthly subscription to The Supporters Club to help support these and other similar projects.. 

Other charities being supported in the UK and overseas will be revealed in the coming months and those projects will feature in documentaries on BT Sport. A small proportion of the donations are used by Comic Relief to cover grant making administrative costs. This means every pound will make a real difference. The documentaries show the impact of the money raised by The Supporters Club - demonstrating to customers the difference their subscriptions are making. 
For more information visit www.thesupportersclub.org or follow the Supporters Club on twitter @supporters.