Professional athlete Frederico ‘Kikas’ Morais, the only Portuguese to compete in the World Surf League Championship and the first to join the Olympic team, is Oceanário de Lisboa and Oceano Azul Foundation’s most recent ‘Ocean Leader’.
The ‘Ocean Leaders’ program, which has two other important Portuguese ocean athletes – world bodyboard champion Joana Schenker and kitesurf record holder Francisco Lufinha – aims to educate and inspire young people to defend the ocean and its urgent need of conservation.
Kikas stated, “The challenge of being an ‘Ocean Leader’ brings me just the purpose and mission I was looking for. The ocean is at risk and we all must act if we are to save what is left. As an international professional athlete, I can reach more people, which also increases my responsibility to convey the message of urgency in protecting the ocean.”
“It is also with great pride that I join Joana and Lufinha, athletes that I admire and who share the passion for the sea. This project is also an opportunity for me to learn more about the ocean and to be able to do more to defend it. If I can pass on this message of curiosity and responsibility to others, I will be very pleased,” Morais added.
João Falcato, CEO of Oceanário de Lisboa, considers that, “Frederico Morais will be another important and active voice in defence of ocean sustainability. The creation of an informed and responsible Blue Generation is decisive for changing our behaviours. We feel more and more young people concerned about the future of the planet and we believe that the time is now to act. People like Kikas, Joana and Lufinha, who are committed to defending the natural world and have stories that are truly inspiring, can be strategic for raising awareness within young people.”
The ‘School Tour’ program builds on the personal experiences of the Ocean Leaders, inspiring interest in ocean sustainability and educating younger generations on the serious threats the ocean faces. The program highlights the importance of marine protected areas and raises awareness about the biodiversity crisis. By the Ocean Leaders giving personal talks at schools, younger people can see examples of ocean sustainability in action and learn how to become more conscious citizens themselves.
Aimed at students ages 12 to 18, the ‘Kikas School Tour’ will begin in September, joining the ‘Lufinha School Tour’ which was launched in 2017, and the ‘Schenker School Tour’, launched in 2018. These educational sessions will reach a number of schools, in both in person and online formats, according to the parameters set by the Portuguese Ministry of Education for the next school year, in line with recommendations implemented due to the evolution of the global pandemic.
Since its inception, ‘Ocean Leaders’ and their ‘School Tours’ have already impacted more than 28,000 young people, at 186 different schools from the north to the south of Portugal, including its islands.
The professional athlete is the first Portuguese to guarantee his presence in the Tokyo Olympic Games. At the end of 2019, he was the first Portuguese to become world champion of the qualifying circuit (WQT), requalifying for the same event in 2020. In 2018, he joined WCT,the top 32 of the world surfing elite, and become known as the “Prince of Portugal”, as the first Portuguese to reach the final of a WCT round. Kikas was national champion twice, in 2013 and 2015.
About the Oceanário de Lisboa
The Oceanário de Lisboa is an internationally renowned public aquarium. It shares its facilities, one of the most visited attractions in Portugal, with the Oceano Azul Foundation whose mission is to promote ocean conservation and sustainability. Oceanário develops educational activities, collaborates in the areas of scientific research and conservation of marine biodiversity, and promotes the sustainable development of the ocean.
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