January 29, 2014
Arsenal football legend Jens Lehmann has announced the establishment of a nationwide Laureus sports project in his native Germany.
The Laureus Kicking Girls project, which Jens is Patron of as a Laureus Ambassador, will now be able to give football opportunities to socially disadvantaged girls across the country.
Jens, who joined young football fans yesterday at their school gymnasium in Ludwigshafen, Germany, said: "As a former professional footballer and Laureus Ambassador this project is of course very important to me. Sport unites people. On the pitch it does not matter if a girl’s wearing a headscarf and the other not, whether they believe in different religions or come from different countries . Through sports they learn togetherness, fair play and respect."
The nationwide Laureus project Kicking Girls is primarily aimed at socially disadvantaged girls and gives them the opportunity to join football associations at school to take part in football tournaments and to complete a COACH training to later act as mentors and role models themselves.
The aim of the project is to promote enjoyment of the sport and integration into the school community and society. The range of Laureus-supported KICK projects support more than 3,000 girls from disadvantaged backgrounds at 220 locations nationwide.
The nationwide expansion is made possible by a generous grant of €3 million from the Dietmar Hopp Foundation. The Dietmar Hopp Foundation has a particular connection with the German Rhine -Neckar region, and this grant will allow the Laureus projects KICKFOR -MORE and move & do to also be established in this region.