MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS stars Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who is also a Laureus Ambassador, were guests of honour at a gala Laureus Formula One Charity Night in Milan which raised more than €200,000 for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in Italy.
Also present at the event, staged ahead of Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza, was world-famous football coach and Laureus Ambassador Fabio Capello, Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, and his fellow Academy Members, Italian motor cycle legend Giacomo Agostini and Austrian ski star Franz Klammer.
At the highly successful event, three new Laureus Ambassadors were unveiled: tennis Grand Slam winner Adriano Panatta; volleyball star Valentina Diouf; and young Italian rugby player Simone Ragusi.
Nico Rosberg said: “Laureus is a cause that is very close to my heart and I am very proud to work as an Ambassador for the Foundation. It’s a source of great inspiration for me to see the fantastic work that Laureus does for children round the world.”
Mercedes-Benz is donating €100 for every racing kilometre that Rosberg leads during the Formula One World Championship. He has currently earned €66,000 for Laureus as he goes in to Sunday’s Grand Prix at Monza.
Among a star-studded list of sports stars at the Laureus Formula One Charity Night were Demetrio Albertini, Jean Alesi, Mirco Bergamasco, Marco Bortolami, Cadel Evans, Alessandro Fabian, Danilo Goffi, Maxi Lopez, Fabrizio Macchi, Daniele Massaro, Dino Meneghin, Marco Tardelli and David Trezeguet.
The Charity Night, which included a fundraising auction, raised money for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation to support projects in Italy, which have helped more than 1,500 disadvantaged young people in its more than ten years of life.
Sponsors of the event included Pirelli, Pernod Ricard and Adidas. There was also support from Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen, Global Partners of the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation.
Adriano Panatta was a popular Italian tennis player who appeared on the international circuit for 14 years between 1969 and 1983, winning one Grand Slam title, the French Open. He is famously the only man to beat Bjorn Borg on the clay of Roland Garros.
Valentina Diouf created a massive reputation for herself during the 2014 Women’s Volleyball World Cup in Italy, in which the home nation finished fourth. Not especially well known before the event, she became one of the local heroes for Italian supporters.
Simone Ragusi is a talented young fly-half, currently playing for Italian club Treviso. He has played six times for the Italian Under 20 team and was a member of the Italian Six Nations squad in 2015.