Laureus #TeamSportForGood runner thanks Andre Villas Boas for inspiring British 10k Run

July 14, 2014
An inspiring Laureus project member has revealed a top football manager gave him the boost he needed to take on last weekend’s British 10k fundraiser.
Ibrahim Kanu, from Camberwell, met Laureus Ambassador Villas Boas at a Laureus Urban Stars project visit at Walworth Academy in January 2013 and the then-Tottenham manager was so impressed by Ibrahim that he employed him as his assistant.
Ibrahim, 20, explained: “There wasn’t much for us to do in the estate I grew up in. I started to do volunteering work with young people and Active Communities Network then started to send me on different courses, like how to deal with challenging behaviour, youth work – basically they helped me to gain more skills and qualifications. I don’t know where I would have been without their help and support – I would probably be on the streets.
Ibrahim grew up in and around the notorious Aylesbury Estate in Southwark, an estate known for its high levels of gang-related crime, territorialism, drug dealing and unemployment but his life changed when he joined Active Communities Network, who run the Urban Stars programme, and he soon started volunteering for the organisation.
Ibrahim added: “Through the Laureus Sports for Good Foundation I met tons of inspirational sports people like Boris Becker and Andre Villas-Boas and meeting him particularly turned into a very good thing for me.”
Ibrahim has been invited to Russia to visit Villas-Boas at his new club, Zenit St. Petersburg, and he added: “Villas-Boas saw me doing some training a while later and he said to me ‘you are doing really well with your training sessions’, and he then invited me down to Tottenham Hotspur’s training ground.
“It was a good contact and I kept the relationship going, having several training sessions with the first team, but unfortunately Villas-Boas is not at Spurs anymore. It’s because of his support and enthusiasm that I decided to run for Laureus in the British 10k and I am delighted that my fundraising can help other young people.
Ibrahim is currently in his placement year at university with one more year left before he gains his BA (Hons) Sports Exercise Science in Teaching and Coaching degree.
He said: “I’m delighted to have finished the British 10k and hope the money raised will make a difference. I have friends who didn’t go this way because they thought there was no point in doing volunteering work and certificates, but I thought it would only be good for myself and benefit me in the long run. And look what happened to me – I am now giving back to the communities. I love doing it and I will hopefully always give back.”
Andre Villas Boas added: “It was great to have Ibra working with the Spurs first team. His hard work really showed when helping to assist with setting up and supporting me on the drills. Ibra settled in really well with all the players and staff at the club due to his driven personality.”
Laureus is the official charity partner for the Vitality Run Series and runners in Laureus #TeamSportforGood will each raise sponsorship, with funds going to train sports coaches and young leaders who can change the lives of young people across the UK.
Following this weekend’s event in London, there are six more exciting runs over the next eight months. For more info go to

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