Athlete of May 2024

Carlos Faria, a standout athlete in the world of Korfball from Portugal, was named the IWGA's Athlete of the Month for May 2024. This prestigious recognition underscores his exceptional talent, dedication, and contributions to the sport.

Portugal has qualified for the Korfball mixed tournament at The World Games 2025 in Chengdu (CHN). The nation secured its berth at the 12th IKF World Korfball Championship in Chinese Taipei (TPE) in October last year.

Join us as we delve into Faria's journey, exploring the dedication and passion that have propelled him to the pinnacle of his game and understand his focus on the beach format of Korfball.

As he is basking in the triumph of his team qualifying for The World Games 2025, the excitement and pride in Faria’s voice were palpable as he reflects on this significant achievement.

“Qualifying for The World Games is never an easy task,” he explains.

“First, you must do well at the continental level to earn a spot in the Korfball qualifying event, the IKF World Championship. Then, you must perform at your best and compete for the highest possible ranking. The feeling of happiness and achievement is extreme when you qualify for such a singular competition.”

Faria’s journey into Korfball began serendipitously in junior high school. Initially inclined toward a different sport, Faria's curiosity was piqued by his sister’s participation in Korfball. The mixed-gender nature of the sport, promoting gender equality and cooperative play, captivated him. This early exposure laid the foundation for his future in elite Korfball.

“The uniqueness of Korfball lies in its mixed-gender teams and rules that promote cooperative play and gender equality,” he said. “It’s a fantastic self-development tool, challenging us both physically and mentally and fostering social inclusiveness by playing together with the opposite gender.”

Faria also highlighted the appeal of Beach Korfball, a variant that, despite its reduced format, maintains the intensity and excitement of traditional indoor Korfball.

“Beach Korfball is fast-paced, physically challenging, and highly competitive. Its informal outdoor setup allows for more social interactions, bringing everyone together: players, staff, sponsors, and supporters.”

Looking ahead, Faria envisions a bright future for Korfball, anticipating further evolution into a faster and more dynamic sport. He expressed confidence that minor rule adjustments would enhance the game's spectacle without altering its core values.

When asked about his expectations for The World Games, Faria is both realistic and ambitious.

“Qualifying for TWG is already a prestigious achievement, but our objective is never just to participate. We aim to win a medal, preferably gold. Considering the fierce competition, this will be challenging, but in Beach Korfball, everything is at stake.”

Faria emphasized the unique dynamics of playing in a mixed team, where cooperation between genders is essential. “In Korfball, the success of the team depends on the synergy between male and female players. What I love about it is the gender equality, companionship, and cooperation, which are crucial for success. Each gender brings unique strengths that, when combined, create a surprising and almost symbiotic balance.”

Reflecting on his career, Faria hopes to leave a legacy of respect, teamwork, and continuous learning. He aspires to demonstrate that success can be achieved without compromising respect for teammates, coaches, opponents, or referees. Furthermore, he wants to highlight the critical role women play in Korfball, showcasing their strength, power, and skill in making a significant difference in the sport.

As Portugal prepares for The World Games 2025, Faria and his team are driven by ambition and a shared dream of reaching the podium. Their journey is a testament to the spirit of Korfball, a sport that beautifully blends competition, cooperation, and gender equality.

The International World Games Association (IWGA) is a non-profit-making international sports organisation recognised and supported by the International Olympic Committee. The IWGA comprises 40 International Member Sports Federations. It administers and promotes The World Games (TWG), a multi-sport event held every four years that features around 35 sports on its programme. The next edition of TWG will be in Chengdu (CHN) from 7-17 August 2025. 5,000 participants from more than 100 countries are expected to take part in this 12th edition. The latest Games were hosted by Birmingham, Alabama (USA).

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