"Laureus SportFreunde": making friends through sport

Laureus projects are at work on every continent tackling issues such as gang violence, lack of education, racial intolerance, and HIV/AIDS.
Today, we look at the very successful Austrian Laureus-supported project "Laureus SportFreunde". This inspiring project offers socially disadvantaged young people aged 10 to 14 the opportunity to participate in sporting activities and learn about a new sport as well as be work on their social skills.
The participants, socioeconomically disadvantaged young people with a high risk of social exclusion , are able to choose a sport (football, dancing, karate and climbing) which they exercise in weekly units under the guidance of an experienced coach.
All social skills and competences, acquired during sports training, are deepened by the support of social workers. Through the further development of personal skills, the self-confidence of girls and boys is strengthened and motivation for personal and academic training is increased.
Since August 2013, this inspiring project has been under the patronage of football legend and Laureus Academy Member Franz Beckenbauer and Austrian Laureus Ambassador Kathi Wörndl.
A major highlight for the youngsters of Laureus SportFreunde, is the "SportFreunde Camp",  a one-week sports camp which takes place at the end of August every year. There are sport workshops (football, dancing, karate and climbing) and socio-educational units together with interaction tasks and group-dynamic games. Games of skill and tournaments are also part of the camp. And what a better way to finish the week than a farewell party for all!
For the young people who come from institutions such as the SOS Children's Village, Pro Juventute and Caritas Salzburg, the annual SportFreunde Camp is a very special week, which they will never forget. 

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