Mika Hakkinen revs up for Laureus ‘Amazing Race’ in South Africa
He’s a two-time Formula One World Champion. He stands in the baking sun of South Africa, blindfolded, on a Segway.
It must seem like a long way from Kyalami or Silverstone.
The man is Laureus Academy Member Mika Hakkinen and he was in this unusual position yesterday as he took part in the Laureus ‘Amazing Race’ through the streets of Durban.
The event was put on with the support of Mercedes-Benz in South Africa, with each car containing leaders from the Laureus YES Programme.
Starting at Mercedes-Benz Umhlanga, the race went through Durban in several stages, stopping at the end of each leg where a challenge or task was given to each team before they were given details for the next destination.
And talking to Laureus after the event, Mika made it clear the altogether unusual Segway challenge had a very real purpose.
“You can’t see where you are going and your team members have to help and guide you around the track. Left and right. It helps teach trust between all of the team. It was fascinating.”
This Segway experience is just an example of the exercises the YES programme teaches young people to help improve their life skills and even employment opportunities.
Asked about the young YES leaders he met, Mika said: “They’re smart, eager to challenge themselves in the future, and eager to listen, which is so important. They want to succeed and are so happy to be a part of Laureus to achieve this. These young leaders are unsung heroes for the work they do in their communities. By staging this race we also hope to let people know more about what Laureus is doing in South Africa.”