CANCELLARA AND HITZFELD AMONG GLOBAL STARS RAISING RECORD FUNDS FOR LAUREUS IN SWITZERLAND

  • Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses joins guests at Laureus Charity Night in Zurich

  • Live speed painting of WTA Newcomer of the Year Belinda Bencic among unique auction prizes donated to raise funds

  • ‘The money we have raised is vital to help us support Laureus projects in Switzerland which benefit young people – says Laureus Ambassador Fabian Cancellara

ZURICH, November 22, 2014 - Internationally renowned sports stars teamed up in Zurich for the eighth Laureus Charity Night which raised a record sum of CHF652,000 (€540,000) to support sports-based community projects in Switzerland that have helped more than 10,000 children and young people.

World-famous Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara and Champions League winning football coach Ottmar Hitzfeld attended the hugely successful event, along with Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, his fellow Academy Member Mike Horn, and Belinda Bencic, the exciting new face in women’s tennis.

Laureus Ambassador Cancellara, former Olympic time trial champion and winner of some of cycling’s great classic races, said: “This is a very special and very important night and I am delighted to be here. My tough racing schedule means I cannot always support Laureus as much I would wish, but I will always do whatever I can to help this important cause. The money that we have raised tonight is vital to help us support Laureus projects in Switzerland which benefit young people.”

Among the others present were Swiss football legend Stéphane Chapuisat, ice skater Sarah Meier, Paralympic wheelchair racer Edith Hunkeler, mountain bikers Thomas Frischknecht and Christoph Sauser and gymnast Ariella Kaeslin together with personalities from business, politics and entertainment.

Rolf Theiler, President of Laureus Switzerland, welcomed over 600 guests to Hangar 9 at the Fliegermuseum (air museum) in Dübendorf. He said: “Sport is not about winning or losing; whoever plays sport always wins. The funds we have raised are essential to allow us to promote social inclusion and personal development of children and adolescents in our four sports projects. These are the real winners tonight.”

The funds raised came from proceeds from the sale of tables and unique auction items. Belinda Bencic, aged 17, recently voted Newcomer of the Year by the Women's Tennis Association, was portrayed live by a speed painter and the work was then sold. She said: “I was happy to help in any way I could. The work that Laureus does in Switzerland is excellent.”

Also for the auction, four-time Laureus World Sports Award winner Roger Federer donated an autographed racket and Laureus Global Partners IWC Schaffhausen offered a unique Pilot Watch Perpetual Calendar in platinum. Additionally on offer was an exclusive trip to the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, a boxing session with Victoria's Secret Angels Adriana Lima, offered by TUI Suisse, and a visit to the Laureus World Sports Awards in Shanghai next year, provided by Ochsner Sport.

Earlier in the day Ottmar Hitzfeld, who won the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich and retired as manager of Switzerland after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, was guest of honour at the final of the Laureus Street Soccer championship, which was won by the FC Breite from Basel, who were also present at the Laureus Charity Night to receive their trophy.

Hitzfeld, now a member of the board of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in Switzerland and Patron of Laureus Street Soccer, said: “This was the perfect example of a Laureus project in action. It was a very successful competition and I was more than happy to be there to congratulate the winners. Sport has the capacity to bring together young people no matter what their backgrounds.”

Laureus Street Soccer is a football league for children and young people from ten to 21 years, which takes place in more than 100 municipalities in Switzerland. The teams took part in qualifying matches before coming to the final in Zurich.

Laureus currently supports four projects in Switzerland: Laureus Girls in Sports, Laureus Cavallo, Metro Laureus Sports by Blind Spot and Laureus Street Soccer by Infoklick.ch.

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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 (Chairman), Dawn Fraser, Cathy Freeman, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Mika Häkkinen, Tony Hawk, Maria Höfl-Riesch, Mike Horn, Miguel Indurain, Michael Johnson, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Tegla Loroupe, Dan Marino, Yao Ming, Edwin Moses, Nawal El Moutawakel, Li Na, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Martina Navratilova, Alexey Nemov, Jack Nicklaus, Brian O’Driscoll, Alessandro Del Piero, Gary Player, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Carles Puyol, Raúl, 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 €100 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 – 60 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 160 countries and territories. 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 Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen. Mercedes-BenzMercedes-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 SchaffhausenWith 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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This is a very special and very important night and I am delighted to be here. My tough racing schedule means I cannot always support Laureus as much I would wish, but I will always do whatever I can to help this important cause. The money that we have raised tonight is vital to help us support Laureus projects in Switzerland which benefit young people.
Fabian Cancellara
Sport is not about winning or losing; whoever plays sport always wins. The funds we have raised are essential to allow us to promote social inclusion and personal development of children and adolescents in our four sports projects. These are the real winners tonight.”
Rolf Theiler
I was happy to help in any way I could. The work that Laureus does in Switzerland is excellent.”
Belinda Bencic
his was the perfect example of a Laureus project in action. It was a very successful competition and I was more than happy to be there to congratulate the winners. Sport has the capacity to bring together young people no matter what their backgrounds
Ottmar Hitzfeld