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DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, June 8, 2010 – Dozens of children from KwaZulu-Natal will have the thrill of experiencing skateboarding for the first time, after Laureus World Sports Academy Member and US skateboard legend Tony Hawk presented a brand new portable Half-Pipe to the Indigo Youth Movement in Isithumba, a rural village near Durban. Also present was former South African cricket captain, Shaun Pollock, now a member of the Laureus Friends & Ambassadors programme.

South African Cricket Captain Shaun Pollock with the Laureus supported Indigo Youth Movement in Isithumba, Durban, after presenting a portable half-pipe to the project. Photo (c) Laureus
South African Cricket Captain Shaun Pollock with the Laureus supported Indigo Youth Movement in Isithumba, Durban, after presenting a portable half-pipe to the project. Photo (c) Laureus
Multi-skateboard world champion Hawk handed over the Half-Pipe, which Laureus has made available to Indigo, that will allow more children in the region to access the sport and benefit from the advantages of taking part in the Laureus-supported project.

The new portable, easy to set up Half-Pipe will allow the Indigo project to visit various locations around the region where people currently do not have access to skateboarding.

During his 20-year skateboarding career, Hawk defied gravity with his amazing tricks and became a role model to millions of young people around the world. After seeing the Half-Pipe set up in the Zulu village for youngsters to try out, Hawk said it was a very emotional moment.

He said: "I first came to Indigo last year and I was amazed what I saw. This is one of the most remarkable skateboard sites in the world. And now I am excited to come back with a new ramp for the kids to enjoy. They are progressing at a rapid rate and I know this new structure will help them push their limits even more. Being able to watch these young people from difficult backgrounds test their skills on this new halfpipe is something that will stay with me forever. I am honored that we are able to provide such a great facility for these kids. It could truly change their lives.”

Project founder Dallas Oberholzer said: "Having a sporting legend like Tony Hawk join us in Isithumba is a great sign that we are moving in the right direction. Some of the younger kids may not have known too much about who Tony was when he arrived, but the moment he got on that Half-pipe, you should have seen their wide-eyed amazement. For me, this is what makes Laureus so great. Some of the most famous sportsmen and women of all-time are prepared to give their time to help us in our village. We’re doubly grateful as Tony has visited us twice now. And this time he has brought this superb Half-Pipe for which I thank everyone at Laureus. The key thing about the ramp is we can use what we have learned through our experiences and replicate it in various locations where people do not have access to skate boarding opportunities and encourage them to stay positive."

Established in the heart of Isithumba, a rural Zulu village on the outskirts of Durban, the project has introduced young people to skateboarding and created an opportunity for the beneficiaries to be introduced to tourism, life skills and entrepreneurialism.
The main objectives of the project have been to introduce the sport to young rural village participants and to invite international guests to the village to learn more about Zulu culture. This has led to the rural participants learning how to skate and becoming more confident individuals.

Oberholzer said: “Our camp is situated in a Zulu village in the Valley of A Thousand Hills. Just having English spoken around the Zulu community can only help its residents with the language barrier, which is intimidating for the young Zulu skaters. A small tea room shop has already opened which has attracted many visitors and become economically viable. In the future we intend to provide employment to many locals through the youth camp.”

Tony Hawk is a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, a unique collection of 46 of the greatest living sports legends, who volunteer their services as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which was set up to promote the use of sport as a tool for social change.

The Laureus Foundation addresses social challenges through a worldwide programme of sports related community development initiatives. Since its inception Laureus has raised more than €35 million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of over one million young people.

Laureus currently supports more than 70 community sports projects around the world including 12 in South Africa: Buffalo City Soccer School, Fight With Insight, Free The Youth, Little Champs, PeacePlayers International, Sport for All, Future Champs, Soweto Schools Rugby Project, Indigo Youth Movement, Makomba-Ndlela Youth Movement and the newly established Lungisani Indlela and Johannesburg Cubs.

Par L.A.E. (dernière modification le 09/06/2010)

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