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LONDON, March 11, 2016 – Leading charities Laureus Sport for Good and Comic Relief have once again teamed up to work together to continue improving the lives of disadvantaged children in Africa.

Comic Relief, which already supports projects with Laureus Sport for Good in both Africa and Latin America, has committed more than £400,000 to two new grants – one with the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) in Kenya and one with Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy in South Africa.

MYSA uses the power of sport, principally football, as a means to provide opportunities for young people in the area. The funds will provide young people with opportunities to develop skills to tackle problems that arise in their daily lives, gain work experience, career guidance and access to education. At the same time, the grant will assist the project with awareness around HIV/AIDS and hygiene and sanitation in the slums of Nairobi.In Johannesburg, youngsters from the Diepsloot township community will benefit from the new support of Comic Relief for The Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy. The Academy works with youngsters who are regularly exposed to high levels of violence, neglect, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and HIV.

The project will provide vulnerable young people from the township with access to educational support, while girls and young women will also have the opportunity to join a leadership programme, building self-esteem, confidence and enhancing education and employment opportunities. Young people will also have opportunities to participate in regular training and competitions.

“These new grants and the continued partnership between Laureus and Comic Relief is great news for us and a significant boost for the Sport for Development community,” said Andy Griffiths, Director of Laureus Sport for Good. “This partnership with Comic Relief is a great example of how organisations can create synergies to make our support even more sustainable, efficient and long-lasting.

” Steve Harknett, Sport for Change International Grant Manager at Comic Relief, added, “MYSA and the Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy are doing exciting and effective work using sport to help socially excluded young people fulfil their potential, which is Comic Relief’s aim. Beyond this, these innovative projects will also generate learning to benefit the whole Sport for Development sector.”

David Thiru, MYSA’s Executive Director, welcomed the announcement, which will help him and his organisation continue to deliver Sport for Development work to those who need it most. He said: “Comic Relief and Laureus have already played a pivotal role in ensuring the stability and expansion of MYSA to continue to deliver at a high level. This has been achieved through their support in organisational capacity development, monitoring, evaluation and learning which has positioned MYSA to deliver high quality services to over 24,000 registered members annually.”

Andre Ross, from Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy: “It is an honour for the Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy to become part of the Comic Relief and Laureus Sport for Good family. We are excited at the prospects of this partnership, particularly improving our operational efficiencies through the assistance offered by the Laureus network. For the youth raised in one of South Africa’s most marginalised communities, this grant is an endorsement of their efforts to improve themselves, and brings home the reality that they are part of a global community; the reality that the world is bigger than the 5Km² where they have been raised. We are thrilled to see where the next part of our journey together leads.”

Leading UK-based charity Comic Relief has used its annual national fundraising campaigns, Red Nose Day and Sport Relief, as a platform to help and invest in charities. Since 1985, it has raised over £1billion to help people living incredibly tough lives both in the UK and around the world. Laureus Sport for Good funds and promotes Sport for Development organisations, and is a global leader in research, expertise and best practice in supporting grassroots sports programmes around the world. Since its inception, Laureus Sport for Good has supported more than 150 sports-based community projects around the world that have helped to improve the lives of millions of young people.

For further information please contact:
Virginie Bernon
International Senior Media & PR Manager Tel: +44 (0) 207 514 2841
E mail:
Follow us on Twitter @LaureusSport

Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good. Laureus is composed of three core elements – the Laureus World Sports Academy, Laureus Sport for Good and the Laureus World Sports Awards – which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and use sport as the means to promote social change.

The first Patron of Laureus was Nelson Mandela. At the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, he said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.” This has become the philosophy of Laureus; the driving force behind its work.
The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy are: Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Ian Botham, Sergey Bubka, Cafu, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Nadia Comaneci, Yaping Deng, Marcel Desailly, Kapil Dev, Mick Doohan, David Douillet, Rahul Dravid, Luis Figo, Emerson Fittipaldi, Sean Fitzpatrick, Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Mika Häkkinen, Tony Hawk, Mike Horn, Miguel Indurain, Michael Johnson, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Tegla Loroupe, Dan Marino, Yao Ming, Edwin Moses (Chairman), Nawal El Moutawakel, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, Alexey Nemov, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Carles Puyol, Steve Redgrave, Vivian Richards, Monica Seles, Mark Spitz, Sachin Tendulkar, Daley Thompson, Alberto Tomba, Steve Waugh, Katarina Witt, Li Xiaopeng and Yang Yang.

The Laureus Academy Members volunteer their services as global ambassadors for Laureus Sport for Good, which was set up to promote the use of sport as a tool for social change. Laureus Sport for Good addresses social challenges through a worldwide programme of sports related community development initiatives. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €85 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 combat some of the toughest social challenges facing young people today such as violence and crime, discrimination, unemployment, lack of education and health threats including HIV/AIDS and obesity.

The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury – the 55 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today. The Awards are presented at an annual Awards Ceremony, attended by global figures from sport and entertainment, which is broadcast to 180 countries and territories.

There is a two-part voting process to find the winners of the Laureus World Sports Awards. Firstly, a Global Selection Panel of the world’s leading sports editors, print and online writers and broadcasters from over 100 countries are invited to vote to create a shortlist of six Nominations in six categories – Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year, Laureus World Team of the Year, Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year, Laureus World Comeback of the Year and Laureus Action Sportsperson of the Year. Nominations for the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability come from a specialist panel. The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy then vote by secret ballot to select the Award winners from these shortlists. The Academy Members may also present additional Awards at their discretion. The voting process is monitored by independent auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

The Awards continue to support Laureus Sport for Good by showcasing the incredible work it does with athletes and partners to transform the lives of individuals and promoting to a global audience the power of sport as a development tool to combat challenging social issues.

Laureus was founded by its Patrons Richemont and Daimler and is supported by its Global Partners MercedesBenz and IWC Schaffhausen.

Mercedes-Benz is the inventor of the automobile – and has been passionately shaping its future since 1886. As pioneers in automotive engineering, it is both our inspiration and responsibility to continue the tradition of the brand with trailblazing technologies and high-quality products. Like no other trademark in the automotive world, Mercedes-Benz appeals to both the hearts and minds of its customers. We give our very best for customers who expect the very best. Since the founding fathers Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz, our corporate history has been one of innovation and pioneering achievements. Many technical innovations that are nowadays standard in automobiles first entered the market in a Mercedes-Benz. This is the basis for our claim to leadership in automotive engineering. The brand stands for Modern Luxury, and enjoys an outstanding reputation for quality, safety, comfort, design and comprehensive, sustainable mobility.

IWC Schaffhausen
With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world’s leading brands in the luxury watch segment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive design. As an ecologically and socially responsible company, IWC is committed to sustainable production, supports institutions around the globe in their work with children and young people and maintains partnerships with organisations dedicated to climate and environmental protection.

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