Laureus Olympian stars make it a golden day for youngsters in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, September 6, 2013
Laureus World Sports Academy Member Sebastian Coe is one of the greatest runners in the history of athletics, but he was more than happy to try his hand at the javelin, much to the delight of a group of enthusiastic children in Buenos Aires.

More than 100 children took part in an athletics open session at the Parque Sarmiento sports complex led by the Fundacion Laureus Argentina – featuring sprinting, hurdling, pole vault and mini javelin, where small, safely modified javelins were being thrown over a bar two metres high.

The session was hosted by Laureus Academy Member Hugo Porta, Chairman of Laureus Argentina, and former Olympian Alejandra Garcia.

Sebastian Coe was joined by his fellow Academy Members Sergey Bubka, Kip Keino and Nawal El Moutawakel, all in Buenos Aires for the International Olympic Committee Congress which began the following day.

Sebastian Coe said: “It was marvellous to visit Parque Sarmiento and see the young people having fun at sport. The work Hugo Porta and the Fundacion Laureus Argentina have done over the last decade has been amazing and I know Hugo has plans to increase the number of projects that they support which will help to improve the lives of even more young people here.”
The children came from the Buenos Aires Compete programme and from the city´s sports centres in deprived areas. They really enjoyed the chance to mix with sporting legends and try athletics for the first time in their lives.

They would not have realised that Sergey Bubka, the man giving pole vault coaching, was the greatest athlete in the history of that sport, or that Nawal El Moutawakel, who happily took part in a hurdles race with the youngsters, was an Olympic gold medal winner. Sport inspires everyone to get involved and build friendships.

Hugo Porta said: “I was so delighted that so many of the Laureus Academy came today. They are in Buenos Aires for a very important Olympic business, but they made the time to come and meet the children here and see what the Laureus Foundation is doing in Argentina.

“The Parque Sarmiento is where many Argentinian sportsmen and women began to play sport. It would be great to think that some of the young children who were taking part could go on to take part in the Olympics for Argentina. We have the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018 and that will give a big encouragement to our young people.”
This event was organised in collaboration with the City of Buenos Aires Sports Secretariat to showcase the positive changes sports bring to society.

Hugo added: "We are confident in the power of sport as a tool for social change. Giving children the opportunity to interact with these sporting legends was like planting a seed in them which will hopefully make them turn to sports, providing them with key values and lessons for their lives.”

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