Mercedes-Benz announces support for Laureus Sport for Good, Yuvraj Singh appointed as Laureus Ambassador

Mercedes-Benz announces support for Laureus Sport for Good, Yuvraj Singh appointed as Laureus Ambassador

India Blooms News Service | 12 Oct 2017


Kolkata, Oct 12 (IBNS): Fostering its association with Laureus Sport for Good for the second year, Mercedes-Benz India on Thursday announced that it will fund developmental programmes for two new NGOs- Naz Foundation and Slum Soccer.

In addition Mercedes-Benz India will continue to fund existing Laureus-supported partners Oscar Foundation and YUWA.

Strengthening its association with India, Laureus Sport for Good has announced Indian cricket star Yuvraj Singh as a Laureus Ambassador.

Laureus Sport for Good supports children and young people, using the power of sport to help them overcome violence, discrimination and disadvantage, proving sport’s ability to change the world. The global organisation supports more than 100 programmes in 35 countries.

New Laureus Ambassador and international cricketer Yuvraj Singh, commented: “It’s an honour for me to join the Laureus Family here in India and to see first-hand the great work being done to help young people overcome challenges in their lives. I’m a firm believer in the power of sport and its incredible ability to change lives, it changed mine and I’m looking forward to helping Laureus in their goal to improve many more in the future.”

Taking pride in the efforts of this association Roland Folger, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said: “If steered by leaders with the right intent and attitude, sport can be a positive, character-building experience for the youth of a country.As the inventors of the automobile, Mercedes-Benz has always focused on creating a positive influence in the lives of people worldwide. By taking this association forward with our global partner Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, we intend on pursuing our brand philosophy with greater rigour by using the power of sports as a social development tool. By bringing on board two more reputed organizations–NAZ Foundation and Slum Soccer, we are hopeful of seeing greater opportunities to realize the hidden potential of the youth of this country.”

Andy Griffiths, Global Director at Laureus Sport for Good, commented: “At Laureus Sport for Good, we know that sport enables children and young people to overcome violence, discrimination and disadvantage in their lives.  With the invaluable help and support of Mercedes-Benz India, we now have the opportunity to support more fantastic programmes here in India, using sport to support children, particularly girls, to go further in education and play a full role in their communities.”

The Naz Foundation [India] Trust (Naz) is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based in New Delhi and Mumbai working to reduce the prevalence of HIV and improve the quality of life of marginalized groups living with HIV diagnosis. Its holistic methodology focuses on community-based advocacy with the aim of reducing the stigma that surrounds HIV diagnosis; the dissemination of community education to improve the health and wellbeing of its members; and empowering families and individuals to make informed decisions with regards to their health.

In 2006, Naz piloted a sport for development initiative called ‘Goal’ for adolescent girls and young women by integrating netball with a life skills curriculum. The skills developed through Goal enable girls to make more informed decisions related to HIV as well as other areas of their lives, including relationships, early marriage, continuing education and future employment prospects.

Through Naz’s experiences on the ground, they learnt that it was critical to engage boys and men, making them part of the process of change in their communities. Successful interventions with girls will only be achieved if boys are also engaged and they support the girls in their journey. To address this issue, one of the strategies developed by Naz is the ‘One Nation Netball Cup’, which is the only mixed (teams include boys & girls) netball tournament in India.

The program beneficiaries will be 500 young girls and boys below 16 years of age, from economically disadvantaged backgrounds born in different parts of India.

Slum Soccer exists to foster sustainable development within otherwise marginalised populations of India. They aim to provide long term solutions to combat homelessness, improve living standards and build self-sufficient communities.

The game of football is used as a vehicle to connect individuals, teach life skills and work towards improving overall quality of life. Slum Soccer works to beak this vicious cycle through: Instilling an education focus, developing social and life skills to overcome barriers and make informed choices and building leadership skills and opportunities.

Girls often face a multitude of barriers when it comes to their participation in sport – including cultural appropriateness (e.g. separate female only coaching sessions), fear of girls hurting themselves and being less desirable for marriage and during mixed sessions, boys often dominating sessions, restricting theirparticipation. Slum Soccer also identified through its own interventions that girls studying in government schools were failing in mathematics and their lack of interest in the subject was leading to increasing dropouts.

Laureus sports projects are designed in a manner where children discover their inherent potential, making a dream future for them. Even prominent ambassadors have taken upon the responsibility of being the role models to create a better society.

Mercedes-Benz announces support for Laureus Sport for Good, Yuvraj Singh appointed as Laureus Ambassador

India Blooms News Service
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