Sport

@lauramourinhobelbut

How did your journey in surfing start?

I grew up on an island, so I've always been very connected to the sea, but surfing was not very accessible and dynamic at that time. My first contact was at the age of 10 in a Free Time Activity centre at the Clube Naval do Funchal, where surfing was my favourite activity. It wasn't enough for me to learn, and it was only later, when I was 20 and independent, that I decided to start surfing when I was already living in Lisbon. So, when 16-year-olds ask me if it's too late to learn, obviously not!

We are a country surrounded by sea, but that still doesn't stop the only sport that gets airtime is football. How do you see the acceptance of surfing in Portugal and in the world?

I don't think the subject of football can be seen as a bad thing. There was always going to be a favourite sport. If it isn’t football it would be something else and I think it's normal that what people talk about most is what they like most. I do think it's important to make surfing and other sports besides football more dynamic, mainly so that children can try different activities that they can fall in love with. I feel that, in my case, I only didn't go surfing earlier because there wasn't much information about it and neither I nor my parents knew that there was a chance of it being a sport that I could do during school time, living in Funchal. Nowadays, I don't think that happens so much anymore, at least with surfing. It is a sport that has grown a lot, both in Portugal and around the world.

What is it like to be a sporty woman?

For me it is the same as being a sportsman. All my life I have practised competitive sports, such as swimming and trampoline gymnastics and, fortunately, I have never felt any problems for being a woman, including now in surfing. Being a sportsperson requires a lot of organisation and discipline, especially when you have to combine it with your personal, school and professional life. It implies having to make some sacrifices and choices, but it is something I find essential and I wouldn't give it up for anything.

To what extent is sport an integral and important part of culture?

I think that sport has always been part of culture. If we look at the culture of a country, it is its history, and sport plays a very important role in the traditions of many countries. In surfing, for example, when it first appeared, the head of the community was the one who surfed the best waves and surfing had a very important role in the culture. We have sports dictating fashions, making countries known for their sportsmen and giving rise to giant sporting events, like American football and basketball in the USA. And again, football in Portugal plays such an important role and is so much a part of everyday life that it is inevitably part of our culture, even for those who don't care for football at all.

Do you think fashion and sport can go hand in hand? What do you think can be the influence of one and the other in their respective fields?

Fashion and sport definitely go hand in hand. There are sports that literally dictate fashions, as is the case with basketball and Nike trainers, for example. Speaking more of surfing and skateboarding, these are sports that have a huge impact on the fashion world, with many good brands, including haute couture, showing inspiration from these sports and using them as a means of communication. Sport, because of its popularity, is a means of exposure for many fashion brands and, in fact, I would say that the main brands sponsoring sportsmen, in general, are brands that are related to fashion, whether it's clothing, footwear or accessories. I think there is a back and forth relationship, i.e. sport benefits from fashion and fashion benefits from sport.

How would you define modern Portuguese culture?

Nowadays, I feel that young people have a much greater interest in culture, of whatever kind, because the scope and access to culture has also broadened enormously. The fact that the Internet is accessible to everyone allows us to access the information we want, instantly. Basically, I think that access to information in a way that is so native to us, like searching on our mobile phone or seeing an artist's post, reading a news story on the bus, listening to any music we want, downloading a book, among other examples, has made culture more accessible to everyone and closer to young people. So, I think that what has changed most in culture in the last few years is undoubtedly the access to information and the way it reaches everyone, of any age.

What, for you, is the role of brands, like Overcube, in the voice that modern Portuguese culture should have regarding sports, culture, diversity, disruption, inclusion and so many other areas essential to development?

Brands like Overcube end up with decisions in their hands that impact all of these areas. Whether it's sponsoring athletes, participating in cultural agendas or including minority groups in their campaigns. There are a thousand and one things that brands can do that have a huge impact on Portuguese culture and I'm happy that this campaign has followed that path.