South African swimming legend Cameron van der Burgh has spoken of his belief in the work of Laureus Sport for Good in his new role as a Laureus Ambassador.
Cameron, who holds both the world short-course 50m and 100m breaststroke records, got straight to work by spending time with young people from the Laureus supported Fight for Peace in London. Fight for Peace works to realise the potential of young people in communities affected by crime and violence, and operates in 25 countries globally through Academies and via community-based organisations trained in its methodology.
Cameron’s swimming career started at the age of 11 when he took up the sport as an outlet for his energy after being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He immediately fell in love with the sport, which helped him focus both and out of the pool. At 16, he started channelling all of his efforts into swimming and went on to become a multiple world and Olympic champion and world record holder.
The highlight of Cameron’s career came at the London 2012 Olympics where he won gold in the 100m breaststroke, breaking the world record in the process. Throughout his career, Cameron also won more than a dozen World Championship medals across both the long and short course. The South African star announced his retirement from the sport after the 2018 FINA Short Course World Swimming Championships, where he won two gold medals. Speaking after his first visit to a Laureus programme, Laureus Ambassador Cameron van der Burgh, said:
“As an 11-year-old, sport gave me hope and changed my life for the better. It’s an honour for me to be here twenty years later as a member of the Laureus Family. From what I have just experienced here at Fight for Peace, sport continues to have an incredible power to positively influence the lives of young people."
“The work Laureus is supporting around the world, using the power of sport to improve the lives of young people is something I feel passionate about and I look forward to working with the team and helping in any way I can.”