Academy Member Blog: Hugo Porta in South Africa - Part 1



By Hugo Porta

Visiting the kids who are at the heart of what Laureus does is always an amazing thing to do.
So it really is fantastic to be back here in South Africa and to have had the chance to visit the Laureus-supported project Great Commission United (GCU) and to support the excellent work of the South African Laureus Foundation and their Chairman Morne du Plessis.
Morne’s work here means a lot to me as South Africa is a country very close to my heart. Having been the Argentinean ambassador to South Africa, I come back here at least once a year and always enjoy the chance to see old friends.
One of the most special things to witness are the improvements taking place in the country over these years.
This is why it means so much to come and see the children here at the projects, some the very same ones I’ve met during previous Laureus visits, and to see how well they have developed.
I had a lot of time to talk to some of the young sport lovers today and they are always so keen to learn about someone like me from another country, about my language, and about kids from Argentina and what they are like too.
These kids and the people working here at projects like GCU really are the heart and soul of the Foundation. We are all taking part in the same important work, but being able to visit them and see what they are achieving in action means the world to them, but it is also very special to me. Both of us get a great opportunity to share experiences and to learn from each other, which is such an important part of what Laureus does in teaching people across the world about the values sport can offer.
These project leaders are the champions of Laureus, the ones who really do all the hard work.
Take Mario, who founded the project, he started here with just five kids, now there are over 200 getting involved. He and the rest of the leaders here are really very special.
But the weekend doesn’t end with this visit to GCU. On Sunday I’m taking part in my seventh Cape Argus bike ride with my fellow Academy Members Daley Thompson, the Olympic gold winning decathlete, and Miguel Indurain, who you may know as the Five-time Tour de France winning cyclist.
I’m looking forward to a fun and relaxed race, but I get the feeling Miguel will be finished, sitting back with a soft drink, by the time I even get near to completing the race!
I will be writing again on on Monday with all the details of how the race turns out.
See you then.

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