US Paralympic athlete and rugby national champion Bob Lujano joins the impressive list of both Laureus Ambassadors supporting and promoting Laureus' work around the world.
Yesterday, Lujano was at Sheridan Elementary School in Minneapolis, Minn., to celebrate his induction into the growing Laureus Family. He was also joined by Jill Vialet, CEO and founder of Playworks, a national nonprofit that improves children’s learning and physical health by facilitating safe, active, inclusive play in low-income schools and by training adult educators in schools and youth agencies of all types in how to leverage play for improved outcomes for kids.
Together Lujano and Vialet hosted leadership discussions and activities for a group of Playworks Junior Coaches, fourth- and fifth-graders who received advice and tips on how to manage and assist their peers in facilitating games during the school day. Lujano also led these Junior Coaches in an accessible rugby related game that is inclusive of students with disabilities.
“Becoming a Laureus Ambassador gives me the opportunity to help promote inclusive sport and play for children everywhere, which is something I am very passionate about,” said Bob. “I stand behind Laureus USA’s commitment to providing support to sport for good organizations like Playworks in order to help strengthen their reach and improve social, health and education outcomes for youth in need.”
Young adults trained as Playworks coaches work full-time in partner elementary schools to teach and model new language and play activities on the playground, in the classroom, and at sports leagues. Coaches impart social, emotional, and cognitive skills that engage students in ways that are healthy and fun.
Thanks to national patron Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), Laureus USA has granted $750,000 to Playworks this year, helping to support five Playworks markets across the country, including Minn.
"We're thrilled to welcome Bob Lujano to our partner school, Sheridan Elementary, and to participate in welcoming Bob to the Laureus Ambassador family” said Playworks’ Vialet. “Playworks' core values include inclusion and healthy play, and Bob is a leader in modeling and teaching both."
The Laureus Ambassadors, along with the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, support the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The organization’s mission is to utilize the power of sport to address social problems through a global program of sports-related community development initiatives. Laureus USA works with numerous organizations around the country to help support initiatives that affect youth such as access to quality coaches and mentors, furthering education, and increasing physical activity and health awareness.
“It is a true honor to welcome such an inspiring Paralympic athlete and fellow Team USA member, Bob Lujano, to the Laureus family,” said Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA. “Lujano has overcome his fair share of challenges through his commitment and dedication, and we are thrilled to have him on board to help guide children across the country to help them understand how to deal with adversity and set themselves on a path to success”.