Just a short drive from the center of India’s most populous city, is a rare space of greenery, adventure and running waters.
Children and young people here can enjoy cycling, climbing and, perhaps most importantly, access to nature that seems a million miles away from the frantic bustle of life in the built-up metropolis of Mumbai.
This remarkable place is the Magic Bus Laureus Pavilion.
And here yesterday, Legendary cricket star and Laureus Academy member, Steve Waugh was visiting to meet some of the young people themselves.
“As a representative of the Laureus Academy, it gives me a great sense of pride to be associated with Magic Bus. The work they are doing for young children is actually realising our vision of using sports to lead change and enhance their quality of life. I am humbled by visiting the project sites and would like to offer my heartiest congratulations to Mathew and his team for doing such a great job.”
Magic Bus is an Indian NGO working with underprivileged children to make sure they move out of poverty. Magic Bus has received funding from Laureus since its inauguration and has been a strategic partner of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation for five years. The project operates in 19 states around India impacting over 250,000 young people with the ambition of reaching 1 million participants by 2017.
The great success achieved by Magic Bus was recognised at the 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards with the presentation of the Laureus Sport for Good Award.
Steve Waugh along with Magic Bus founder Matthew Spacie unveiled the Laureus Pavillion at the Magic Bus Centre for Learning and Development located in Village Aasrewadi near Karjat.
This was followed by a visit to the Bombay Port Trust (BPT) community project where Steve Waugh met and interacted with the students and members of the local community.
Matthew Spacie, Founder of Magic Bus added,
“Magic Bus’ work has grown to 18 States of India in the last fifteen years, covering 250,000 children and 8000 young people from marginalised communities. This would not have bene possible without supporters like Laureus and we want to thank Laureus and Steve for this strong support.”
Magic Bus, founded by Englishman Matthew Spacie and based in Mumbai, aims to take children out of poverty through a programme of mentoring and coaching. Since 2001, the Magic Bus programme has grown to embrace over 250,000 children in 18 states each week and Spacie’s ambition now is to reach out to one million children by 2017.
The Laureus Pavilion is a covered activity area that Magic Bus has built inside its 25-acre learning center campus. The center itself is an outdoor learning and development space that provides facilitated experiences in a wide variety of activities ranging from rope climbing to cycling and much more.
"The Pavilion helps Magic Bus deliver activities during the Summer and Monsoon seasons, enabling participants to continue accessing sports activities." says Rob Thomas, Head of the centre. "It can accommodate people of different ages and abilities and provides the perfect living space for group activities."