Former England footballer Jamie Redknapp has been announced as the newest Laureus Ambassador, and he got straight to work, spending time inspiring young people from the Laureus-supported Urban Stars project in London.
The former Liverpool and Tottenham captain joins over 180 fellow Ambassadors for Laureus Sport for Good around the world. Laureus Ambassadors support the work of the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, volunteering their time to help Laureus Sport for Good.
Laureus-supported Urban Stars uses sport to engage vulnerable young people who are marginalised from mainstream society. The Active Communities Network programme, of which Urban Stars is a part, offers a variety of sports and activities for those aged 13-19 to achieve this.
Urban Stars mixes mentoring and group sessions to address behavioural issues, personal and social development projects, youth leadership and training. It gives confidence and hope to young people who need it most, encouraging those who have left the education system to consider returning.
Speaking after spending time with the youngsters from Urban Stars, Jamie Redknapp said:
“These young people are what sport is all about. Whatever it is that they are playing, sport brings them together, grabs their attention and gives them a chance to set goals for the future. Sport has given me so much throughout my life; I’m looking forward to giving back through Laureus.”
Jamie Redknapp played for England 17 times between 1995 and 1999, making a brief appearance in the 1996 European Championship. At club level, he scored 34 goals in 314 appearances, mostly for Premier League team Liverpool, for whom he played from 1991 to 2002. Redknapp became captain of Liverpool in the 1999/2000 season and his ability helped the club back into the top three of the Premier League.
In 2002, Redknapp moved to London club Tottenham for three years, before a brief stint playing for Southampton prior to retirement from professional football. Today, he is a successful football analyst for TV and newspapers.
Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €100 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of millions of young people. The mission of Laureus Sport for Good is to use sport as a means to tackle some of the toughest social challenges facing young people today such as violence and crime, discrimination, unemployment and lack of education.