Tony Hawk meets Laureus youngsters (and a giant seagull hands out our 1st Treasure Hunt prize)

Last Friday, one of our Academy Members, the skateboard legend Tony Hawk, came  to London to visit the fantastic Laureus-supported Fight for Peace boxing project in North Woolwich.
On the way, however, London being London, and Friday rush-hour being as bad as it so often is,  Tony found himself stuck in such heavy traffic that he ran the risk of arriving too late to meet any of the excited kids at all.
True to character (and at this point being only as far as London City airport with no end to the traffic in sight) Tony jumped out of the car, grabbed his deck and made for the project in the way that he is most famous for: skateboarding!!
It was a great sight to see, and, on hearing that the one and only Tony Hawk was skating along the streets of east London, a bunch of the kids from the project raced to see if they could catch a glimpse.
Kids from London's East End watched in amazement as Tony made his way on his board
Once Tony had finally arrived, he was really keen to spend some time in the ring and to get a proper feel for what the training is like at Fight for Peace.
Whilst there, the world-famous skateboarder tried his hand at some exercises a little different from what he is used to. He tried some (gentle) sparring with some of the older participants, had a go at that most famous boxing warm-up, skipping (take a look above) and, going back into his comfort zone, took some time to show the crowd a few tricks on his board.
It was really great to have Tony visit the Fight for Peace project, if not only to see how excited the youngsters were about the event. North Woolwich in the East End of London is one of the most deprived areas of the city and it really was touching to see the kids, from the youngest of them to the oldest, so excited about the arrival of a superstar like Tony in their part of London.
The regeneration of east London thanks to the Olympic Games really shows what sport can do for communities. Nevertheless, projects like Fight for Peace, even if it is on slightly smaller scale than the 2012 Games, play an enormous role in giving inner-city youngsters a real opportunity to improve themselves and the lives of those around them.
Now on to the giant seagull...
To coincide with Tony's visit to the Fight for Peace project, here at Laureus we thought we would organise our first City Treasure Hunt.
The Prize: a signed Tony Hawk skateboard...
The first Laureus City Treasure Hunt top prize
Taking inspiration from a similar treasure hunt Tony frequently organises in the States, we used twitter throughout the day to send picture clues out to our followers as to the wherabouts of the prize.
At first the clues were a bit tricky...
This is actually opposite the skateboard park on London's Southbank... we hope our board doesn't end up here...
By the end of the day the images were a bit more obvious...
In the end, it was a giant seagull that had our prize to give...
And as the sun set over the Thames, we arrived just in time to catch the lucky winners...
...and so the first Laureus Treasure Hunt comes to an end.
All in all it really was a great day. The kids were so excited to meet Tony, and the fun of our first treasure hunt has made certain we will have to do another one again soon. It won't be a day we forget quickly.
Keep up to date with what we are up to (and any future treasure hunts) by following us on twitter @laureusSport

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