• Laureus Sport for Good links up with BT to support Indian Slum Soccer organisation
  • ‘We recognise there is the opportunity and need to do so much more in India’ – says Laureus cricket legend Kapil Dev
  • Click here for more information on Laureus Sport for Good

LONDON, June 23, 2016 – Laureus Sport for Good and BT, one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, have teamed up to use football as a positive force for change among some of India’s most disadvantaged youth.

The funding, from BT charitable initiative The Supporters Club which funnels money from its BT Sport customers in the UK, will be implemented within the Slum Soccer project with the help of Laureus Sport for Good over the next two years.

Using an innovative football-based curriculum, Slum Soccer will work in partnership with 15 state schools in Chennai to engage 1,500 children in lessons and activities that will equip them to be leaders of their communities and role models for their peers both on and off the pitch. 

The aim of Slum Soccer is to foster sustainable development within otherwise marginalised populations of India. Working in areas of homelessness and disadvantage, Slum Soccer uses football to connect individuals, teach life skills and empower youngsters to work towards improving their overall quality of life.

This is the latest sporting charitable project backed by BT in the country. BT --- the global communications player which has fast-growing operations in India --- has previously backed the Amos Trust (which support hundreds of children living in and around the railway station in Chennai, providing access to healthcare and education), and, the British Council which runs the “Kolkata Goalz” in partnership with the English Premier League, using football to develop a brighter future for young people.

Laureus Academy Member and former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev welcomed the partnership. He said: “I am delighted that BT Supporters Club will be helping Laureus Sport for Good to support more programmes improving the lives of young people in India. Slum Soccer is an innovative project achieving real impact, and we are thrilled to be working with them.

“I am proud of what Laureus Sport for Good and our partners have achieved in this country over our history of working here, but we recognise there is the opportunity and need to do so much more in India, and we will be striving to make that happen. Partners such as BT Sport not only help us to do that work, but their credibility and strength add weight to our belief in the power of sport. As Nelson Mandela said, sport has the power to change the world. It has changed mine and hope that it changes the lives of many more youths around the world.” 

Sumit Mitra, Managing Director, Central Business Services, BT, said: “At BT, we believe in the power of communications to make a better world. By supporting good causes with our time, technology and expertise, we’re helping to improve the lives of millions of people around the world. India has always been a strategic country for BT thanks to availability of skills, flexibility and quality of work of employees. As we are growing our operations in India, we are delighted to collaborate with Laureus Sport for Good and Slum Soccer and be involved in a project that will help 1,500 children to build personal skills.”

Slum Soccer CEO Dr. Abhijeet Barse said, "The support from Laureus Sport for Good and BT will allow us to make a lasting impact in 1500 children's lives. Their backing will enable Slum Soccer to make end-to-end investments in its Edu-Kick program aimed to educate through the medium of football. We have made improvements in infrastructure, outreach, training, and implementation with the support from our partners. With all Edu-Kick trainers being previous participants of the same program, we believe that a virtuous circle of sustainability has been set in motion."

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 tackle violence, discrimination and disadvantage experienced by young people around the world. 

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Virginie Bernon

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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.