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Laureus stars Victoria Pendleton and Michael Jamieson visit the Wave Project

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Laureus Ambassadors and British Olympic stars Victoria Pendleton and Michael Jamieson have underlined the powerful role sport can play in supporting young people with their own mental health and wellbeing, following a visit to the Laureus-supported Wave Project surf programme in Newquay. 

Victoria and Michael, who both reached the pinnacle of their careers at the London 2012 Olympic Games, are both advocates for the role sport can play in improving mental health among children and young people.  Both Victoria and Michael have also been outspoken about their own mental health challenges and have worked with Laureus to help raise awareness for the challenges young people face, promoting the role sport can play in enhancing mental wellbeing. 
The Wave Project is a ‘surf therapy’ programme that uses the sport to improve the lives of young people suffering from mental health issues. Supporting young people with mental health disorders ranging from mild to severe, the programme aims to build confidence and reduce anxiety through the power of surfing. The programme is the world’s first ‘surf therapy’ course funded by a government health service as the NHS funded a pilot scheme back in 2010. Today, young people with mental health issues are directly referred to the programme from GPs and other external agencies. 
With the support of Laureus and Spirit of 2012, The Wave Project is now able to expand the reach of their surf therapy interventions into new regions. The programme is now bringing isolated and vulnerable young people from inner-city London to locations such as Brighton to experience surfing and enhance their mental health and wellbeing through surf therapy, as well as delivering surf therapy sessions for disadvantaged young people in Cornwall. 
                                                            
In 2020, Laureus will celebrate a milestone 20th anniversary of using the inspirational power of sport as a force for good. Special anniversary plans are underway with further details to be announced soon. To stay up to date with Laureus activity, follow us at @LaureusSport and #SportforGood on social.
“I’ve been lucky enough to spend time learning to surf in the past year and it has been so helpful for me in my own life. When you combine sport with the mentoring and mental health support these young people receive, you can really transform lives for the better. That’s what Laureus is all about.” 
Victoria Pendleton
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“Throughout my career, sport was always about bettering myself and striving for silverware. Days like today remind me about the real value of sport and how powerful it can be in improving the lives of young people who need it most.” - Michael Jamieson 
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