Welcoming the Paulo Duarte FIM EnduroGP World Championship to Portugal, Fourth-grade students in Valpaços participated in an educational event to promote environmental awareness, circular economy, social inclusion, and the importance of preserving ecosystems.

In collaboration with the Valpaços Municipality, the local Schools, and the National Republican Guard (GNR), the “Planting for the Future in Valpaços” initiative has left a positive impression on the municipality’s fourth-grade students. Promoted as part of Prime Stadium’s Sustainability program and integrated into the sixth round of the EnduroGP World Championship, taking place in Valpaços from September 29 to October 1, the event aimed to raise environmental awareness and encourage civic responsibility among the younger generation.

The action began with the distribution of T-shirts to all fourth-grade students, bearing a clear message: children were encouraged to wear them, and when they no longer fit, pass them on to younger children. For worn-out T-shirts, the message was equally clear – they could find new life as cleaning cloths, minimizing waste and promoting the circular economy.

Next, the youngsters had a unique opportunity to engage in a lively conversation with Joana Gonçalves, a professional enduro rider. Joana, a Portuguese four-time national champion and fifth in the Enduro World Championship in 2019, 2020, and 2021, captivated the children’s attention and imagination as they asked numerous questions, learning about determination and the importance of pursuing dreams, as well as the role of sports in personal development.

Following the inspiring dialogue, the students headed to their future midle school, where they planted trees of native species, including oaks and strawberry trees, which they committed to caring for over the next two academic years. This hands-on involvement allows the children to witness the growth of the trees they have personally planted, fostering a lasting connection with the environment.

The morning was concluded with a collaboration with the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD). The children went to the Nossa Senhora da Saúde Sanctuary to participate in the release of two wild owls. UTAD veterinarians explained UTAD’s bird rehabilitation program and underscored the vital role owls play in controlling the local rodent population, connecting the dots to the critical importance of preserving ecosystems.

“Planting for the Future in Valpaços” was an unforgettable morning that will undoubtedly remain in the hearts and minds of these children for many years to come.