Squash World Champion Nick Matthew visits Youth Sports Development Programme
This week in Philadelphia, Laureus Ambassador and World Champion Squash player Nick Matthew helped inspire urban youth at a sports-based youth development squash programme ahead of next week’s US Open of Squash at Drexel University.
Laureus USA was joined at the event by partners Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), and Up2Us, the leading national non-profit organization focused on the power of youth sports coaches to transform the lives of our nation’s most vulnerable youth, in an effort to engage local youth and demonstrate the organizations’ continued support of the local Philadelphia community.
The event was set up through a national partnership between Laureus USA and Up2Us to tackle issues including childhood obesity, academic failure and youth violence by placing highly trained coaches in sports programmes that support further development of life skills.
Through its Coach Across America programme (CAA), the first national service programme to challenge young adults to give back to their communities by committing to coaching and mentoring underserved youth, Up2Us hires and trains coaches to serve in communites that lack positive adult role models. This year alone in Philadelphia, Up2Us has trained and placed 50 coach-mentors directly affecting 5,000 youth in 25 communties across the state.
Nick Matthew joined the event at SquashSmarts, an Up2Us member programme, where CAA coaches led a series of physical activities. SquashSmarts is a free, intensive out-of-school programme that is helping to change the lives of Philadelphia’s public school students through academic and athletic mentoring, and has a proven track record of keeping kids in school, in shape, and on track for graduation. With the help of Laureus USA and Up2Us, youth within the neighborhood who attend SquashSmarts programmes have access to well trained coaches and mentors to serve as positive role models.
“We are very happy to have the partnership of Laureus USA in our efforts to place trained coach-mentors into the lives of children who need them, not only in Philadelphia, but throughout the country,” said Up2Us CEO Paul Caccamo.
Nick Matthew, along with other Ambassadors and members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, support the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. Laureus USA works with numerous organizations around the country, including Up2Us, to support initiatives that benefit youth such as access to quality coaches and mentors, furthering education, as well as increasing physical activity and health awareness.
Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation said, “With the help of these CAA coaches, the Greater Philadelphia area benefits from more opportunities for youth to engage in physical activities in a structured environment in an effort to keep them away from troubles such as youth violence, drugs and childhood obesity.”
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation uses sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today such as juvenile crime, gangs, HIV/AIDS, discrimination, social exclusion, lack of education, landmines awareness and health problems such as obesity. Since its inception Laureus has raised over €60 million and currently supports more than 150 community sports projects in 34 countries.