US Paralympic Athlete Bob Lujano Becomes an Ambassador for Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA

Minneapolis, March 9, 2015 Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA , the leading non-profit organization that uses the positive power of sport to tackle society's most pressing challenges, announced its newest ambassador today. US Paralympic athlete and rugby national champion Bob Lujano joins the impressive list of both current and former sportspeople supporting and promoting Laureus USA’s work around the world.

Today, Lujano is at Sheridan Elementary School in Minneapolis, Minn., to celebrate his induction into the growing Laureus USA family. He is also joined by Jill Vialet, CEO and founder of Playworks, a national nonprofit that improves children’s learning and physical health by facilitating safe, active, inclusive play in low-income  schools and by training adult educators in schools and youth agencies of all types in how to leverage play for improved outcomes for kids. Together Lujano and Vialet will be hosting leadership discussions and activities for a group of Playworks Junior Coaches, fourth- and fifth-graders who will receive advice and tips on how to manage and assist their peers in facilitating games during the school day. Lujano will also be leading these Junior Coaches in an accessible rugby related game that is inclusive of students with disabilities.

“Becoming a Laureus Ambassador gives me the opportunity to help promote inclusive sport and play for children everywhere, which is something I am very passionate about” said Bob Lujano. “I stand behind Laureus USA’s commitment to providing support to sport for good organizations like Playworks in order to help strengthen their reach and improve social, health and education outcomes for youth in need.”

Young adults trained as Playworks coaches work full-time in partner elementary schools to teach and model new language and play activities on the playground, in the classroom, and at sports leagues. Coaches impart social, emotional, and cognitive skills that engage students in ways that are healthy and fun.

Thanks to national patron Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), Laureus USA has granted $750,000 to Playworks this year, helping to support five Playworks markets across the country, including Minn.

"We're thrilled to welcome Bob Lujano to our partner school, Sheridan Elementary, and to participate in welcoming Bob to the Laureus Ambassador family” said Playworks’ Vialet. “Playworks' core values include inclusion and healthy play, and Bob is a leader in modeling and teaching both."

 

The Laureus Ambassadors, along with the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy , support the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The organization’s mission is to utilize the power of sport to address social problems through a global program of sports-related community development initiatives. Laureus USA works with numerous organizations around the country to help support initiatives that affect youth such as access to quality coaches and mentors, furthering education, and increasing physical activity and health awareness.

“It is a true honor to welcome such an inspiring Paralympic athlete and fellow Team USA member, Bob Lujano, to the Laureus family,” said Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA. “Lujano has overcome his fair share of challenges through his commitment and dedication, and we are thrilled to have him on board to help guide children across the country to help them understand how to deal with adversity and set themselves on a path to success”.

For more information about Laureus USA, please visit www.laureususa.com

Media Contacts:

Samantha Berzon

Sunshine Sachs

Mob: (240) 731-6868

Berzon@sunshinesachs.com

Mariella Kapsaskis

Mercedes-Benz USA

Tel: (201) 573-4734

mariella.kapsaskis@mbusa.com

www.mbusa.com

Amy Weitz

Playworks

Tel : (510) 206-1855

aweitz@playworks.org

http://www.playworks.org/

About Laureus USA

Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA ( www.laureususa.com ) is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity in the United States.  It is part of the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation global network, which includes the global Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, the Laureus World Sports Academy, and the Laureus World Sports Awards. Collectively, the Laureus global network harnesses the power of sport to promote social change and celebrate sporting excellence. Laureus champions the universal power of sport to bring people together as a force for good, pursuit of excellence, overcoming challenges, celebrating achievement, and winning against the odds.

About Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States.  For the nearly 50 years MBUSA has operated in this country, the company has been an integral part of the communities in which it does business and the neighborhoods where its employees live and work.  A common thread through its activities over the decades has been a commitment to nurturing leadership.  To that end, MBUSA places particular emphasis on initiatives designed to empower future generations, particularly those who are underserved.  MBUSA is committed to helping today’s youth develop the tools they need to reach their full potential and become the leaders and success stories of tomorrow.

About Playworks
Playworks believes in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid . The national nonprofit creates a place for every kid on the playground—a place where very child belongs, has fun and is part of the game. Playworks currently serves more than 900 schools in 23 cities, and reaches approximately 425,000 students directly and through professional training services. 

About Us

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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“Becoming a Laureus Ambassador gives me the opportunity to help promote inclusive sport and play for children everywhere, which is something I am very passionate about. I stand behind Laureus USA’s commitment to providing support to sport for good organizations like Playworks in order to help strengthen their reach and improve social, health and education outcomes for youth in need.”
Bob Lujano
“It is a true honor to welcome such an inspiring Paralympic athlete and fellow Team USA member, Bob Lujano, to the Laureus family. Lujano has overcome his fair share of challenges through his commitment and dedication, and we are thrilled to have him on board to help guide children across the country to help them understand how to deal with adversity and set themselves on a path to success”.
Edwin Moses, Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation