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Pele promotes reading among kids

sports Updated: Jul 13, 2007 12:26 IST

IANS
Highlight Story

Brazil's Pele, regarded as the best football player ever, was the star attraction at an event to introduce Futbol Mundial magazine's programme to encourage reading among Hispanic youngsters in the US.

The event took place at NASDAQ MarketSite in New York on Wednesday, right after the man born Edson Arantes do Nascimento presided over the market's opening bell, Spanish news agency EFE said.

Felix Sencion, founder and publisher of the Futbol Mundial (Football World) magazine group, said that the solid presence of the magazine in the Hispanic market and Pele's star-power contribution can both be useful tools to promote reading among Hispanic kids.

"Being the magazine with the greatest circulation and reach in this market, combined with our friend Pele, the world soccer king, is something that can promote reading in the family," Sencion told reporters.

Futbol Mundial has more than 2.8 million readers and a circulation greater than 1.2 million copies among its English and Spanish editions, and it appears each month as an insert in numerous Spanish-language dailies in the United States.

Pele has taped various public service announcements to promote the campaign - "There's a time to play and a time to read" - and he has shown himself to be a firm supporter of pushing education for young people.

He recalled that when he notched his 1,000th goal before nearly 200,000 fans in Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium, he asked the military junta then ruling Brazil to provide schools and education for the country's children, but his message was not heeded as he had hoped it would be.

"Today in Brazil, we're going through one of our most serious periods, as you can see on television, due to violence," he said, adding that two generations practically have not been able to get adequate access to education.

"This is a new opportunity and I want to ask again from New York, the capital of the world, for us to start giving education to the kids," the sporting icon said.