On the eve of the Laureus World Sports Awards, a host of sporting legends have inspired youngsters from Laureus-supported projects at the energetic, exciting and engaging Laureus Sport for Good Jam.
Hosted at The BASE Berlin, the event was an energetic festival of sport and activity, with youngsters from Laureus projects KICKFORMORE, Kicking Girls, KICK im Boxring and HIGH FIVE skateboarding programme all taking part in sporting activities at BASE Berlin. At the same time, urban musicians provided the soundtrack to the sporting activities, creating an electric atmosphere.
While at the event, Spanish football icon Raúl González and German Skiing star Maria Hoefl-Riesch were announced as the 57th and 58th members of the Laureus World Sports Academy. The two sporting legends got straight into action in their new roles, trying out the various sports on offer at the Jam, while inspiring the young people from local Laureus projects.
As well as Raúl and Hoefl-Riesch, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy Edwin Moses was joined by host of fellow Academy Members and Ambassadors, including IAAF President Sebastian Coe football stars Cafu and Jens Lehmann, skateboarder Bob Burnquist, Olympic gold medallists Nadia Comaneci, Cathy Freeman, motor racing legend Mick Doohan, former All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick, windsurfing icon Robbie Naish, and former boxer Axel Schultz.
Also inspiring the youngsters at the Laureus Sport for Good Jam were German Laureus Ambassadors Martin Braxenthaler, Ole Bischof, Fredi Bobic, Philip Köster, Nia Künzer, Sebastian Steudtner and Kathi Wörndl.
Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, said: “This is what it’s all about, these sporting legends who all achieved so much during their careers, engaging with youngsters from our Laureus projects here in Germany. When people talk about sport having the ability to change in people’s lives, we saw proof of it today.”
Raúl González, Spanish football icon and new Laureus World Sports Academy Member, reflected on his induction into the Laureus World Sports Academy and his time spent with the youngsters: “It’s a great honour for me to join these legends of sport who all share with me the belief in the power of sport. Today we all experienced the great influence Laureus projects have on young people and I’m looking forward to working with my fellow Academy Members in future to help share the powerful message of sport.”
Three-time Olympic and two-time World Champion alpine ski racer Maria Hoefl-Riesch was also inducted into the Laureus World Sports Academy and immediately felt the responsibility of her role, intercting with the youngsters from local Laureus projects. “I won’t forget today for a long time. These young people are inspirational, the hurdles and struggles they overcome in their lives and the huge smiles they have on their faces is so powerful. I’m honoured to join the Laureus Academy and look forward to contributing to the Sport for Good movement.”
Rabea Broß, project leader from KICKFORMORE, said: “One of the things that our youngsters learn within the project is to set objectives and to take over responsibility in reaching them. Today – playing with such football idols as Raul and Cafu – has a high impact on these youngsters – on their motivation as well as on their self-confidence that they can reach their goals – on and off the pitch.”
Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €100 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of millions of young people. The mission of Laureus Sport for Good is to use sport as a means to tackle some of the toughest social challenges facing young people today such as violence and crime, discrimination, unemployment and lack of education.