Laureus Ambassadors Gerard Piqué and Alex Corretja attended a meet-and-greet with patients suffering from spinal cord injuries in Barcelona yesterday. This visit marked a new agreement between the Fundación Laureus España, the Guttmann Insitute and Laureus Global Partner Mercedes-Benz.
Corretja and Piqué took part in a day of sports activities along with some of the patients of the Guttmann Institute playing adapted basketball.
FC Barcelona star Piqué highlighted the importance of promoting sport as a tool for comprehensive rehabilitation:
"Sport is beneficial for everyone, but particularly for these patients it is very important as physical activity also helps their emotional recovery".
The Guttmann Institute is a hospital specializing in the treatment and functional rehabilitation of patients with major neurological disability and since its inception, it has used sport as a therapeutic and social inclusion tool. In recent years, it has strived hard to carry out activities in contact with the natural environment because of the physical and psychological benefits it has. Moreover, it can be practiced in an inclusive manner by people with and without disabilities.
Retired tennis star Alex Corretja said:
"These patients are a clear example of effort and improvement. It's incredible the human team and professionals that help them every day to improve their rehabilitation, wellness and quality of life."
Also attending the event was Dr. Josep Maria Ramirez, Director of the Guttmann Institute, Gabriel Masfurroll, Chairman of the Fundación Laureus España and Enrique Aguirre de Cárcer, Director of Communications at Mercedes-Benz. "For Fundación Laureus España this is a project of great importance, since we know the importance of sport in the recovery of patients with this type of injury. We also have the support of Mercedes-Benz as a global partner of Laureus that has been implicated in a special way on this project” said Masfurroll.
Mercedes-Benz, Global Partner of Laureus, wanted to participate in this project as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility policy as stated by the Director of Communications Enrique Aguirre de Cárcer: "Mercedes-Benz Spain employs more than 4,000 people in Spain; and consequently we have a social commitment that cannot be neglected. With our collaboration we want to help in publicizing the excellent work carried out by Laureus Foundation both in Spain and beyond our borders".
The Guttmann Institute is a benchmark hospital in the medical-surgical treatment and comprehensive rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury or other neurological disabilities.
"Sport brings social, cultural and educational values in personal and social development of the person, but at the Guttmann Institute it is also a fundamental part of the rehabilitation process of our patients. That is why these kinds of initiatives and the support from the Laureus Foundation and Mercedes Benz on this occasion are of great help and importance for us and our patients, "added Dr. Josep Maria Ramirez.