November 22, 2013
Laureus Ambassador and brilliant Formula One racing driver Nico Rosberg has given a group of young people from a Laureus-supported community sports project in Sao Paulo a day they will never forget in the pit lane at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Nico, who drives for the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ team and won the Monaco and British Grand Prix this year, personally welcomed the youngsters, from the Instituto Passe de Mágica project, to the Interlagos circuit.
Nico, who has won three Grand Prix since he joined Formula One in 2006, showed his visitors around the paddock, gave them a glimpse of the action in the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS garage and then entertained them to lunch in the team motor home.
Nico said: “Brazil is one of the most special countries to race in. Formula One is a passion here. The atmosphere is always wonderful at Interlagos and I was really pleased to show the guys around.
“Passe de Mágica is a relatively new project to Laureus so I hope they will be inspired by the visit and become role models for the other young people at the project. I certainly found it fascinating listening to some of their stories and chatting to them about what life has been like for them.
“It has been an amazing year for me - to be able to take kids from Laureus projects to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza and the Indian Grand Prix in Delhi and now to Interlagos. It has made me realise that no matter which country they are from or whatever social problems the young people are having to face, sport can be the ideal way to inspire them and give them hope for the future,” added Nico.
During the day Nico led a question and answer session with the young people, and also donated footballs which the youngsters were able to take back to the project. A group of the youngsters will also attend the Grand Prix on Sunday, courtesy of IWC Schaffhausen, the team’s Official Engineering Partner. Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen are Global Partners of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
Instituto Passe de Mágica was created in 2004 by former Brazilian basketball star Paula Gonçalves – known as Magic Paula - with the goal of using basketball as the means to develop educational and complementary activities for socially vulnerable children and adolescents. Currently 900 young people in eight centres are benefiting from the project and five other sports have now been added– boxing, fencing, weightlifting, rowing and taekwondo.