Halloween is called Día de los Muertos - the Day of the Dead - in Mexico, but on this occasion it proved to be a moment of fun and hope as new Laureus Academy Member Lennox Lewis launched an initiative to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people in Mexico City.
Lewis, the last undisputed world heavyweight champion, was immediately on the front foot revealing how Laureus Sport for Good will support a wide range of organisations using the power of sport to help young people in Mexico.
Laureus Academy Member Carles Puyol inducted Lewis into the Laureus World Sports Academy during a visit to the TRASO project in the city. The project works to address gang violence, build community cohesion and empower young people. Joined by Puyol and Lewis, children aged seven to ten took part in a mix of boxing and life-skills sessions designed to develop and strengthen their values.
New Laureus Academy Member Lennox Lewis said: “It’s a great honour to become a Laureus Academy Member and even better to be straight into action in Mexico City, where we are announcing our support for several projects which will help to improve the lives of young people here. I have visited several Laureus projects over the last few years and have always been impressed with how sport can really engage with kids. It’s a natural fit and can make an amazing difference. Sport changed my life and it can do the same for so many others.”
Later, Laureus Ambassadors Nico Rosberg, the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One driver, and former Formula One star David Coulthard teamed up with Lennox Lewis at a Day of the Dead-themed party, hosted by Mercedes-Benz Mexico, on the eve of the Mexican Grand Prix. As well as celebrating the launch of Laureus activities in Mexico, guests were treated to a live performance from Latin America’s favourite rock band Café Tacuba.
“It’s great to see Laureus bringing its message to a new part of the world and supporting projects in Mexico City which will help disadvantaged young people. As a Laureus Ambassador, it’s amazing to share the stage with Lennox Lewis. He’s a giant of sport in every way and good to have him in the Laureus Family. He’s definitely the kind of guy you want to have on your side” said Formula One World Championship leader and Laureus Ambassador Nico Rosberg.
Laureus Academy Member Carles Puyol added “This is one of the great cities on Earth, with its own amazing qualities but also with its own problems. I am so delighted that Laureus is going to be able to make a difference here and that so many kids will benefit.”
Working in co-operation with a number of leading Sport for Development organisations, Laureus-supported projects in Mexico City will use boxing, martial arts and football to tackle gang violence, youth crime and drug-related issues, as well as helping children from poor communities to secure a better education through funding and training opportunities.
Laureus Sport for Good is also working with Nike Mexico, which is committed to getting young people active through sport and play to help them live longer, happier and more successful lives, in line with Laureus’ vision to tackle violence, discrimination and disadvantage through the power of sport.